Home   News   Article

Tribute paid after death of former 'one of a kind' Highland councillor

By Val Sweeney

Register for free to read more of the latest local news. It's easy and will only take a moment.

Click here to sign up to our free newsletters!
The death has been announced of former Highland councillor Roddy Balfour.
The death has been announced of former Highland councillor Roddy Balfour.

Tributes have been paid following the death of a former veteran Highland councillor described as "one of a kind".

Roddy Balfour, who had served as the Independent representative for Culloden and Ardersier, died today.

His death was announced at the start of the Highland Council meeting by convener Bill Lobban.

"Roddy left the Council at the last election after many years of stalwart service," Cllr Lobban said.

"He had one of the brightest minds of anyone I had the pleasure to meet and was a fierce and determined debater.

"He was also one of the nicest and most genuine people you could ever have met.

"The world is a much poorer place with his passing."

Inverness Provost Glynis Campbell Sinclair said: "Roddy Balfour was one of a kind.

"After 23 years of service to Highland Council and his communities he finally decided not to stand in the 2022 election."

She said Mr Balfour, who was born in Tasmania, had made the Highlands of Scotland his home after returning to his mother’s birthplace.

"He was passionate about the Gaelic language and was a very accomplished bagpiper," she said.

"He had a quick wit, and a wicked sense of humour – he really did love to laugh.

"He will be sorely missed by his family and friends, Highland council staff and councillors and of course, the communities of Culloden and Ardersier."

She added at the City of Inverness Area Committee, he regularly demonstrated a wealth of knowledge on the Inverness Common Good Fund and his counsel was sorely missed on that and many other matters.

Cllr Roddy Balfour focuses on the figures during the 2017 meeting to discuss the Highland Council budget.
Cllr Roddy Balfour focuses on the figures during the 2017 meeting to discuss the Highland Council budget.

Cllr Alasdair Christie described him as a Highland gentleman.

"With his razor sharp mind, he could argue the case either way for anything with logic and always with compassion and dignity," he said.

"The work he did for Highland Council on Armed Forces and Armed Services was exceptional and it was down to him that we got as far as we did with the Armed Forces Covenant.

"He had a very successful legal career and I saw some of that separately in my role as chief executive of Citizens Advice. Roddy was on the Citizens Advice Board for 14 years and became a director in his own right.

"He took a keen interest in welfare rights, consumer issues and legal issues and added value to the charity immensely throughout that period.

"Roddy was one of those people that was a pleasure to meet in your life and you don’t meet too many people like Roddy Balfour in life and I think that we will all miss him deeply and our condolences to all his friends and family."

Cllr Balfour was elected to serve on Highland Council for five consecutive terms from the 1999 to 2017 elections, serving until 2022 as an Independent councillor.

He served the Ardersier, Croy and Petty ward during the 1999 and 2003 election terms and was elected in 2007, 2012 and 2017 to the ward of Culloden and Ardersier.

Throughout his service he was a member of many council committees and boards including the Fire Board and was vice chairman of education in 2001 and 2002 and chairman of education, culture and sport in 2003.

He also served as the council’s Armed Forces and Veterans' Champion and was invited to a reception held at Edinburgh Castle in October 2021 to receive the council’s gold award for the Defence Employers’ Recognition Scheme..

During his last term of service, he was a member of the Places Committee, Audit and Scrutiny Committee, South Planning Applications Committee, the Planning Review Body and the City of Inverness Area Committee.

Last year, the former councillor had been involved in discussions to set up the Kilravock Castle Community Trust in a bid to save the15th century castle at Croy for community use.

Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More