For­mer chief ex­ec­u­tive of Western Isles dies

The Herald - - FRONT PAGE -

THE for­mer chief ex­ec­u­tive of the coun­cil that lost mil­lions in the BCCI crash has died.

Dr Ge­orge Macleod was in charge of the Western Isles Coun­cil, which had put more than £23 mil­lion in the Bank of Credit and Com­merce In­ter­na­tional.

He was sacked, then re­in­stated, be­fore re­tir­ing and go­ing on to run a suc­cess­ful en­gi­neer­ing con­sul­tancy on Lewis.

Dr Macleod, who was 74, was praised by the cur­rent coun­cil leader for deal­ing with “dif­fi­cult times”.

“Dr Ge­orge was a highly re­spected en­gi­neer and di­rec­tor at the coun­cil and also served as chief ex­ec­u­tive dur­ing very chal­leng­ing and dif­fi­cult times,” said con­vener, Nor­man Mac­don­ald.

“He was also an el­der and lay preacher in The Free Church over many years. Dr Ge­orge served his com­mu­nity in many dif­fer­ent roles over many years and he was well known through­out the is­lands and fur­ther afield.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Mairi, and chil­dren Chris­tine and Iain.”

The coun­cil flag in Stornoway flew at half­mast in trib­ute.

Mr Macleod was chief ex­ec­u­tive be­tween Au­gust 1986 un­til Septem­ber 1992.

The coun­cil saw nearly all its money dis­ap­pear with the bank’s 1991 demise, mark­ing one of the black­est days for any lo­cal author­ity in Bri­tain.

It lost £23m in the bank, plus £1m in loan in­ter­est. It had to get spe­cial con­sent to bor­row from the then Scot­tish Of­fice.

Two decades on, the coun­cil re­ceived £2.5m from the BCCI liq­uida­tors.

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