Councillor and first provost of Eastwood

Born April 10, 1928

Died February 24, 2018

Ian Hutchison who died earlier this year aged 89 was vice president of COSLA, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities in the 1980s, the first provost of the new Eastwood District Council in 1974 and chairman of its planning committee for 20 years.

In 1983 he was awarded an OBE for services to Scottish local government.

As a councillor for 40 years, he saw through two local government reorganisations, first in 1975 with Eastwood District after the Wheatley report recommended a two tier council structure of regions and districts and then in 1996 with East Renfrewshire Council when the Major government introduced unitary councils across Scotland.

Ian Hutchison was first elected in 1967 as an independent councillor, then subsequently as a Conservative councillor in Renfrewshire County Council pre-Wheatley for the fast developing Newton Mearns suburban area, just south of Glasgow.

He continued to serve as councillor for the Mearns ward on both the new Eastwood District and East Renfrewshire councils for 30 years until he retired in 2007 as the longest serving “father of the council”.

On retirement, Hutchison praised the new streamlined cabinet system operating in East Renfrewshire as “good in getting decisions made speedily“ compared to the “old fashioned committees” operating before.

Despite some heated debates on council tax or council rents, he said all councillors, whatever party, worked together in the best interests of local people.

He reflected that East Renfrewshire Council – one of the smallest councils in mainland Scotland- had proved it can work jointly with other councils and bodies without losing its identity.

During his long career in local government, he served on numerous regional and national bodies, including Scottish National Housing and Town Planning Council, The Planning Exchange, COSLA’s planning committee, Renfrewshire Valuation Appeals Committee, and Historic Buildings Council for Scotland.

Locally he was a member and chair of Eastwood Schools Council, chair of Eastwood Licensing Board and a Justice of the Peace for 44 years.

He was also a member and chair of the Board of Governors of Queens College from 1980 – 1991 before it was incorporated into Glasgow Caledonian University.

Ian Somerville Hutchison was born on 10th April 1928, son of Robert and Lilias Hutchison and one of four children, twin sister Isabel, older siblings Robin and Margaret.

Although christened as John, he was known as Ian throughout his life. He attended Shawlands Primary, and then Hutcheson’s Grammar School.

Aged 17, he considered a career in agriculture, and follow his early passion of rally driving. But after National Service with the Royal Navy in Portsmouth and on HMS Zest, he returned to Glasgow and Glasgow University for a science degree course and work in the paints industry, where he developed a specialist expertise in paint chemistry.

Hutchison joined Montgomerie Stobo and Co in Bridgeton, moving to Hird Hastie Ltd in 1953 as chief chemist and works manager.

In 1966 he was appointed general manager of John S Craig, then Scotland’s largest manufacturer of paints and varnishers based in Kinning Park. He became a member and later president of the Oil and Colour Chemists’ Association, developing the work of the trade association.

In 1970, Hutchison founded Timbertection Ltd, and under his leadership as managing director the company focussed on the manufacture and sale of specialist coatings. He retired from the company aged 70 in 1998.

Throughout his life he was involved with the Trades House of Glasgow, continuing the Hutchison family’s association since the 17th century as a member of the Incorporation of Maltmen.

Despite a triple heart by-pass in his early fifties and lengthy bowel cancer treatment in his later years, Hutchison remained active during his retirement, enjoying gardening and fishing on many Wednesdays and Saturdays with the Brother Loch Syndicate.

He also served on the National Trust for Scotland committee and the Glasgow Airport Consultative Committee as passenger representative, and was an active member of the Mearns History Group where he attuned his knowledge of the history of Newton Mearns, the area he had served as a councillor.

He was an elder in his local church, Mearns Parish Kirk and for many years the church’s fabric convenor.

Ian Hutchison married Aileen Wallace on 4th September 1953 in Pollokshields East Church.

He was committed to his wife and family throughout his married life, and confided to friends and family he had had a “brilliant life”.

He is survived by Aileen, his four grown-up children Karen, Ann, Graeme and Gordon and six grandchildren

John Brown