Shettleston votes for new councillor

A BY-ELECTION takes place tomorrow to elect a new councillor for the Shettleston ward.

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It follows the death of councillor George Ryan, a Labour politician, trade union activist, socialist, father and champion of Glasgow's east end

In almost two decades representing the Shettleston area, the 50-year-old rose to hold some of the city's most influential political positions, but was always considered locally as "oor cooncillor", one of the boys who made it.

Mr Ryan was brought up in the Cranhill area where his family settled when he was two.

He was proud of his family's working-class roots - both his grandfather and uncle were miners during the 1926 General Strike and the Depression of the 1930s - and they had a major influence on his life.

His father, George Sr, played professional football in England before injury saw him return to Glasgow to work as a machine operative at British Leyland.

He was educated at St Modan's Primary and St Gregory's Secondary. Friends from his primary school days say that even as a young boy he hated any form of injustice, and as one of the tallest in the class would always stand up to any of the older boys who were bullying his smaller classmates.

He left school in 1979 to serve his apprenticeship with Arnold Clark. In the same year he joined the Transport and General Workers' Union, where he first became active politically. He served on many lay membership committees with the T&G and was still working as a union representative in his job as a health and safety officer with South Lanarkshire Council.

Mr Ryan began working in Glasgow District Council in 1985. In the 1990s he moved to South Lanarkshire Council, first as an administrator and latterly in the health and safety role.

He returned to study part-time while continuing to work full-time. He gained both a degree in social sciences from Glasgow Caledonian University and a postgraduate in risk and occupational health and safety at the University of Strathclyde.

In 1995, he stood as a Labour candidate for the newly-formed Shettleston ward of Glasgow City Council.

He is survived by his partner Linda, and his children Christopher, Deborah and Sophie.

Local government

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