Obituary: George Monies, former councillor

George Monies spent a decade on Edinburgh District Council. Picture:TSPL
George Monies spent a decade on Edinburgh District Council. Picture:TSPL
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George Monies, a former Edinburgh councillor, has died.

George McKechnie Monies was elected as a Labour member of the new Edinburgh District Council when it was first formed in 1974.

And during a decade at the City Chambers he served spells as secretary of the Labour group and as the party’s recreation spokesman.

When George was first elected, as councillor for the Granton area, his then wife Madeleine Monies was already a member of the old Edinburgh Corporation, which continued in parallel with the new authority for 12 months before disappearing.

Madeleine, who represented Calton did not stand for re-election at that stage, but she did later become a member of Lothian Regional Council, representing South Leith, so the couple were for a while both councillors, albeit on different authorities and representing different areas.

George stood down from the council in 1984, but Madeleine continued and went on to become Lothian education convener.

The couple’s marriage broke up and Madeleine later moved to Texas.

Former Lord Provost Eric Milligan, who joined the council at the same time as George, said: “They both came from an academic background and were both very prominent Labour councillors in the early years of the district and regional authorities. George was one of these individuals who was very much his own man.

“In those days the Tories used to dominate the affairs of the council and he was one of a team of Labour councillors who worked hard to bring about a change to politics in the city.”

In 1977, George complained that visitors to the International Gathering of the Clans were being given a false impression of the Capital and offered to take them on a tour of the city’s poorer areas rather than allow their experience be limited to Princes Street, the Castle and the Royal Mile.

He also cautioned against too much public money being put into the International Festival, accusing the Festival Council of arrogance.

George had studied at Edinburgh University and was later a lecturer at Napier University. He was also the author of a textbook about local government in Scotland, which became the standard work for those studying the subject and ran to several editions. He subtitled the last one Endgame, predicting an increased centralisation of power at Holyrood after council elections switched to proportional representation in 2007.

He died at Forth Valley Royal Hospital on Wednesday, October 15 after a short illness.

He is survived by daughter Helen and son Paul as well as grandchildren Sarah and Callum.

His funeral service took place at Seafield Crematorium yesterday.