Phil has been the other Lib Dem councillor in my ward for the last five years and was my running mate last time we had an election. He had grown up in a political household his mother being Mayor of the village he grew up in. Indeed she was the third woman to be Mayor of that town.
Phil started out in the St Andrew's Liberal Club in the early 60's. It was through the party he met his wife Maggie and he then settled down to family life in Clerwood.
In 1974 he stood as a candidate for Westminster in the Midlothian seat. he was beaten by Alex Eadie. A history graduate Phil enjoyed being a successor to Gladstone as Liberal candidate in the seat where the Grand Old Man had fought 95 years earlier.
Phil eventually got elected in 2001 succeeding John Barratt in South East Corstorphine when John went to Westminster.
In 2007 when we won the council elections Phil took over as Transportation convenor and then moved to Finanace a couple of years later.
Phils time as Finance convenor has been very successful. Phil has been the most significant Finance Convenor in my time in local government. For the last three years we have had each department balancing the books and the councils books are in a really healthy state.
Much of this is down to Phil's firm hand on the budget. When I have dealt with partners such as voluntary sector groups one of the things they really appreciate is the stability with our finances which was absent in past administrations. That being said Phil was not a Kosigin life figure always vetoing expenditure.
Great Finance convenor Phil is I will miss him more as a friend. Sure we will catch up on a regular basis but not on a near daily basis we do so just now. I will miss his wisdom, his support and common sense.
Best of luck Phil and thanks for everything.