Long-serving council leader Jim McCabe has been tipped to bounce back from major heart surgery and return to his Civic Centre desk.
The 73-year-old is recovering after a quadruple heart bypass last week and his deputy for the past 16 years, Councillor Jim Smith, is currently in charge of North Lanarkshire Council affairs.
Councillor McCabe became ill last month, but his colleague said that despite the stresses of the job the veteran Labour politician will be desperate to get back to work.
Councillor Smith said: “There was a big change in Jim over the last six months. You could see it in his appearance.
“He thrives on the job and often he would be at the Civic Centre after eight in the morning and be the last one to leave at night. If there was a Labour group meeting he’d be there till maybe 8pm.
”As a local councillor you don’t get a chance to switch off. Even if you’re at the shops there are always people approaching you with their problems.
“The financial cuts over the last year have made it very stressful as these affect the jobs of local people you work beside or socialise with. The leader often has angry councillors on one side and council officials on the other, and has to find a compromise.
“I’ve no doubt the stress of that contributed to Jim’s illness. But he’s not the type to lie down to it and I hope he comes back as we are a good team.”
See this week’s Times and Speaker, out on Wednesday, for news of a former Labour councillor who is backing the Yes campaign in the Scottish independence referendum.