TRIBUTES have been paid to a former provost and Labour stalwart who has passed away at the age of 97.

Alex MacLean was Provost of Port Glasgow between 1969 and 1972.

He also continued his public service as a Strathclyde regional councillor until 1996.

Family, friends and ex-provosts and current councillors paid their respects at Mr MacLean's funeral at Greenock Crematorium on Tuesday.

Mr MacLean was born and brought in East Crawford Street and after leaving school served his time at Kincaid's as a boiler maker.

He then took up a position as a welder with John Hastie and Co.Ltd who made steering gear.

His son-in-law Eric Black said: "He and the Liberal Provost of Greenock, William Riddell, worked for the same company.

"He was a Labour man, he was old school."

Mr MacLean married his beloved wife Charlotte in 1945 and the couple moved to the Parkhill area of Port Glasgow.

The devoted couple moved in with their daughter Susan and her husband Eric at their home at Faulds Farm in Kilmacolm ten years ago.

Sadly Charlotte passed away in 2013.

Mr Black said: "He enjoyed his time as Provost and was delighted to get the chance to meet the Queen.

"He was a Strathclyde Regional councillor and was chairman of the water and sewerage committee and travelled all around the world.

"He was very diligent."

Mr MacLean passed away peacefully in his sleep at home.

His son-in-law said: "He would like to be remembered as a Labour Party stalwart.

"He was a man who cared about local people."

Depute council leader Jim Clocherty served with Mr MacLean as a regional councillor for four years.

He said: "It was my first outing as a councillor alongside Alex, Ronald Young and Yvonne Roberton who represented our area.

"I learned an awful lot from Alex, who taught me that things don't happen at meetings but behind the scenes and to make sure that you do your homework before attending meetings, so you know what is happening before you go in."

Cllr Clocherty said that Mr MacLean was the longest-serving chairman of the water and sewerage committee and at the helm during an important campaign.

He said: "He was chairman at the time of the referendum against privatisation of Scottish Water.

"He was extremely clever and had a sharp mind."