The Dunblane and Bridge of Allan ward member, who was first elected as an SNP Councillor in May 2007, sadly passed away on Sunday.
SNP Stirling Council Group Leader, Cllr Scott Farmer led the tributes from across the Council.
A cut above the rest.
He said: “This is an extremely sad news for everyone in the SNP Group and I would like to share my heartfelt condolences with Graham’s wife Jennifer, his family and friends.
“Graham was a man of integrity and a dedicated public servant, representing his constituents with distinction to the very end despite his illness.
“That’s no surprise to me as Graham was a really caring individual, whose first instinct was always to think about other people other than himself.
“Graham was pragmatic, had a fine-tuned sense of wit and was passionate in ensuring a better future for the people he represented. I looked up to him so much in the way he conducted himself in public life especially in how he managed challenging situations. He really was a cut above the rest.”
During his time as an Elected Member for Dunblane and Bridge Allan, Graham served across a wide range of roles at the Council including as Council Leader from 2008 to 2012 and Depute Convener of Council from 2017 to 2022.
Graham also served as Vice President of COSLA (2017-2022), Chair of the Scottish Qualification Authority (2009-2017) and as a Board Member of the Scottish Police Authority (2012-2018) as well as being on the Integration Joint Board (2017-2022) that oversees the Clackmannanshire and Stirling Health and Social Care Partnership.
Improve the lives of young people
Cllr Farmer added: “Graham had an incredible mission to improve the lives of young people, doing all he could to help them achieve their potential, especially the more vulnerable in our communities. He was a proud Corporate Parent and a member of the Champions Board.
"As well as an active participant in the party, locally and nationally, Graham was highly thought of throughout the public sector, and he was at the forefront of supporting the response of local government during the pandemic as Vice President of COSLA.
“Away from public life and politics, Graham ran a small business and was involved in business coaching. He was a private person who loved nothing more than spending time with his family or playing a round of golf at Dunblane Golf Club where he was an active member. I will miss him greatly”
Respected and admired
Stirling Council Leader, Cllr Chris Kane said: “I am incredibly saddened and shocked to hear the news of Graham’s passing.
“Graham was genuine and hardworking, a committed Councillor who cared deeply about serving the needs of his constituents in Dunblane and Bridge of Allan.
“Graham was a formidable political opponent who was respected and admired across the political divide and that says a lot about his character.
“My thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time.”
Outstanding public service
Stirling Council Chief Executive, Carol Beattie said: “Graham will be hugely missed by everyone at Stirling Council and by the communities he served with such distinction for more than 15 years.
“Graham was respected across the political spectrum. His legacy will be of outstanding public service and I am grateful to have known and worked with him.”