Although other women before her served on the Parish Council, Lily was Dundee’s first female town councillor. She lived in Kenmore Terrace and worked as manageress of a biscuit factory. In 1923 she was elected to the Parish Council for Ward IX, then in 1935 she was the first woman to be elected to the Town Council for Ward XIII, topping the poll with 4,464 votes. Lily had a friendly nature and soon became well-liked by both parties. Her particular interests were in women’s issues and in education (she became Governor of the Technical College, and convener of education in 1936 for a year when the socialists had a majority for the first time), and here she was a keen and partisan debater.

During World War II she was emergency officer for youth welfare, a member of WVS, served on the Food Council and organised cooking classes for mothers. She was also a member of “various” (her obituary says) public boards and president of the Scottish Health Visitors Association. In 1942 she became chair of the Executive Committee of the Scottish Council of the Labour Party & President of the Labour Party in Scotland.

Lily was made a Baillie in 1945; she famously complained that the back point of her Baillie’s cocked hat knocked it over her eyes when she was sitting in the civic pew in St Mary’s, but she failed to introduce a new style! She served on the Council until 1953/4.