A "GENTLEMAN" councillor who has helped foster a respectful environment at Kilncraigs has sadly passed away.

Tributes were paid to former Clacks East representative Bill Mason this week, following his passing on Friday, June 18.

Flags were flying at half mast at the council headquarters yesterday, as a mark of respect, with his funeral taking place that afternoon.

Bill, a retired architect, became an elected member in May 2017, but unfortunately had to step down at the end of 2019 due to ill health.

While he may have only been a representative for a relatively short time, councillors highlighted he made a huge impression and will leave a lasting legacy as he built bridges right across the political chamber.

During his time at the local authority, Bill led the Conservative opposition, convened the Audit Committee and sat on a number of other committees, including planning and scrutiny.

Cllr Martha Benny, who took over the Conservative Group after Bill resigned, led tributes to her former colleague at yesterday's council meeting.

She said: "We are all very saddened by the death of Bill.

"He was a gentleman and will be sorely missed by his family and all who knew him.

"As a group coming into council four years ago we were all very green, but Bill quickly stepped up and became a mentor to our group.

"Through his skills of bridge-building and reconciliation, he helped to foster a closer, more cohesive and respectful environment among all elected members.

"He will be remembered as a friend from the chief exec down to all councillors, officers and staff.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Kate and her family."

Bill also represented the area on a number of external bodies, including Central Scotland Valuation Joint Board, Clackmannan District Charitable Trust, was the environment and economy substitute on the Cosla Policy Board and represented the local authority at Dollar Academy Trust.

Provost Tina Murphy also paid tribute to Bill and asked the virtual Kilncraigs chamber to observe a minute's silence.

She said after the meeting: "I was saddened to hear that our former colleague Bill Mason has passed away.

"Bill was an active and committed councillor who worked hard for the people of Clackmannanshire, despite his ill health.

"I enjoyed my all too brief period of working with Bill, who was a true gentleman.

"On behalf of all councillors and officers at Clackmannanshire Council, we send to his wife, family and friends our deepest sympathies at this sad time."