21 October 2022

Stuart Pratt: An Aberdeenshire Council tribute

Aberdeenshire Council was very saddened to hear of the passing of former councillor Stuart Pratt earlier this week.

Over a 29-year period, Stuart served as a councillor for the Meethill-Glendaveny ward from 1988-1999, the Dales-Towerhill ward from 1999-2007 and Peterhead South and Cruden ward from 2007-2017.

He began as an elected member with the former Banff and District Council before being elected to the Aberdeenshire authority following local government reorganisation in 1996.

Stuart, of New Pitsligo, served both as the chairman of the Buchan Area Committee and on a number of council committees and partnership organisations throughout his term – among them the Buchan Local Community Planning Group, the Peterhead Common Good Fund and the Licensing Authority.

Just last month he was presented with a Pride of Buchan award in recognition of his outstanding 45 years’ service to the 1st New Pitsligo Boys Brigade. Stuart was also recognised for his dedication and service as an elder within his local church for many years, a role which saw him become involved in various charitable duties. He was also an enthusiastic supporter of Peterhead Football Club.

Paying tribute, Cllr Mark Findlater, Leader of Aberdeenshire Council, said: “Stuart Pratt was a real stalwart of north-east politics and a very good councillor for Buchan for many years. I first met him when I became a councillor in 2012 and saw firsthand his involvement in so many varied community issues. Following his departure from the council, he nevertheless continued to be a pillar of strength in his own local community for which he must be recognised. He will be sorely missed and my thoughts are with his loved ones and friends at this difficult time.” 

Cllr Gwyneth Petrie, Opposition Group Leader, said: “Stuart was the first person waiting for me at the front doors of Woodhill House after my election, and that steadfast support and solidarity was a continuous mark of his friendship. He was always there for sound counsel and a friendly ear. Stuart may have appeared to have a gruff exterior at times, but it never masked that he was, without a doubt, one of the nicest of men, with the biggest of hearts. Everything he did, he did with his utmost effort and complete dedication, including his work as a councillor. He will be sorely missed by so many as a colleague and, more importantly, a friend.”

His long-time friend and fellow councillor, Stephen Smith, added: “I’m incredibly sad at the news of Stuart’s passing. Stuart and I represented the same Ward for 10 years from 2007 and I could have had no better introduction to how to be an effective councillor than the advice and support I received from Stuart. His loss will be keenly-felt across the north-east and my condolences to his family at this time.”