RESPECTED Inverclyde Council education boss Wilma Bain has died at the age of 56 after a brave battle with cancer.

The married mum-of-one was a popular figure during her 11 years at the local authority.

Council leader Stephen McCabe led the tributes, saying it was a ‘sad day for everyone who knew Wilma’.

Mr McCabe said: “That sadness, though, will I am sure in time give way to smiles for those of us lucky enough to have spent time in Wilma’s company.

“Wilma has been one of the key people behind Inverclyde’s education success. 

“There are young people now and going through our education service who may never know Wilma but who have received a high quality education thanks to the hard work done by her and the teams she led.

“It has been a real privilege for me to have worked with Wilma over a number of years.

“I will greatly miss her warmth and her wise counsel and send my deepest condolences to her husband David and daughter Morven.”

Mrs Bain started her career with the former Strathclyde Regional Council in August 1985 as a business studies teacher.

She moved to Inverclyde in 2007 and became head of education in 2010.

Mrs Bain had a short spell in the same role at South Lanarkshire Council in 2015 before returning to Greenock as corporate director of education, communities and organisational development.

Council chief executive Aubrey Fawcett said: “During the past year Wilma was a true inspiration in how she faced the cancer diagnosis she received with positivity, determination and always with a smile.

“Knowing Wilma I am also sure that she would not have wanted people to be sad but to remember with joy the life she lived.

“Wilma was an inspirational professional who fought for and defended her services, cared about Inverclyde and especially the opportunities education provided to the lives of the young people we served.

“She brought positivity and good humour to any room she entered and our council and Inverclyde are the better for her.”