Obituary: former councillor Danny Kelly

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Tributes have been paid to former Argyll and Bute councillor Danny Kelly, who has died at the age of 77.

The local authority and its members have been among those recognising the contribution made by Mr Kelly, who died on Tuesday June 4 after a stroke.

Mr Kelly won the election in the Arrochar and Kilcreggan ward when the council was formed in 1995, taking 82 per cent of the vote. He lost the seat four years later, but was re-elected to serve as the councillor for Rosneath, Clynder and Kilcreggan in 2003.

Four years later, he was elected as one of three councillors for the new multi-member Lomond North ward, and continued in the role until 2012.

Councillor Ellen Morton, who chairs the authority’s Helensburgh and Lomond area committee and who served alongside Mr Kelly for many years, said: ‘I am really sad to hear of Danny’s death. He and I always got on well when we were in the council despite being in different political groups.

‘I know he worked really hard for his community both as a community councillor and as an Argyll and Bute councillor.

‘He was particularly active in fighting to provide a better service on the Kilcreggan ferry and on the fight to save the schools in Rosneath and Kilcreggan from the threat of closure.

‘I also remember how much of a family man he was and particularly proud of his grandson’s piping success. I am sure his family will miss him.’

An Argyll and Bute Council spokesperson said: ‘Daniel Kelly was first elected to the new unitary authority, previously known as Argyll and Bute District Council, in 1995 following the reorganisation of local government in Scotland.

‘He first represented the Arrochar and Kilcreggan ward which, by the time he was next elected in the 2003 elections, had changed to the Rosneath, Clynder and Kilcreggan ward.

‘With the introduction of multi-member wards for the 2007 council elections, this became the Lomond North ward, which Danny again proudly represented until 2012.

‘During his council career, Danny built up considerable expertise in planning and housing matters, representing the council on the Argyll Community Housing Association board following the local housing stock transfer in 2006 and chairing the planning, protective services and licensing committee until 2012 and his departure from the council.

‘Danny was very committed to the success of the Lomond North communities which he was proud to represent.

‘He maintained a very keen interest in local affairs and was always glad to lend his support to community events.

‘There remain many councillors and officers at Argyll and Bute Council today who worked with Danny and appreciated his knowledge and expertise both in local and other matters.

‘Most of all, though, Danny will be remembered as a kind man who treated everyone with warmth and respect. Thoughts are with his family at this sad time.’

Even after his time as a councillor came to an end, Mr Kelly remained involved in public affairs in the area, sitting on the board of Argyll Community Housing Association [ACHA].

Alastair MacGregor, chief executive of ACHA, said: ‘All of us in the ACHA family were saddened to hear of Danny’s sudden passing.

‘He served as chair of ACHA’s Helensburgh and Lomond area committee, chaired our audit committee, and served on the main board for many years.

‘His support and drive for decent, affordable housing are testimony to his hard work to help those in the communities of Helensburgh and Lomond and beyond.

‘He was also a wise, kind and gentle man whose well thought out advice will be missed.’

Argyll and Bute councillor Iain S Paterson, who sat on the ACHA board with Danny and was elected to the Lomond North council ward in 2017, added: ‘Very sad news. I have had regular contact with Danny since I became a councillor on the ACHA board, and dealing with issues he reported to me as a constituent and found him to be a friendly and helpful man whose community meant so much to him.

‘He will be sadly missed. Condolences to his wife, family and friends.’

Kilcreggan resident and Helensburgh business owner Cara Nikolic said: ‘Danny was a legend. I knew him most of my life from when he had the butchers and I was a Saturday girl in the shop next door.

‘Years later, when I started my first business, he was on the Licensing Board. Even after he retired he helped people in the community and I was just speaking to him the other week when he stopped to ask how I was and offer me some advice and support. That’s just the sort of person he was.

‘He leaves behind a beautiful family who are heartbroken. The whole community is shocked and saddened by his loss because he touched so many lives.’

His funeral took place at Cardross Crematorium yesterday (Wednesday June 12).