A FORMER Preston man, who helped to construct the town's bus station, has been hailed as one of the brightest people in Scotland.

Brain-box Keith Yates OBE, 53, who is the chief executive of Stirling Council, was given a mention in the Scottish Herald magazine as one of the 50 brightest people in public service.

Keith, who used to attend the former Preston Grammar School, is currently involved in the regeneration of Stirling city centre.

As a youngster Keith used to attend Moor Nook Primary School, in Mitton Drive, Preston, where his father, the former Preston councillor Ron Yates, is chairman of the governing body.

Ron said: "We have had the rich, posh and power lists. But we know it's brains that count.

"This is a boost for Moor Nook Primary School which is on an underprivileged estate, doing its best to achieve with a limited amount of resources and materials."

After graduating from universities in Sheffield and Liverpool, Keith, who used to live in Longridge Road, Preston, became part of the team that built Preston's bus station.

Later he worked for Oxfordshire County Council as a planning officer and moved to Scotland in 1974 where he did the same job for the Scottish Office.

His career path moved upwards even further and Keith was appointed to a senior executive position in Strathclyde Council. He moved to his current post at Stirling five years ago in the October before the Dunblane massacre in March 1996 and was responsible for dealing with the horrific aftereffects.

Keith counselled Dunblane Primary School staff after the massacre in which 16 children died and was the person who greeted the Queen and Prince Charles when they visited the town to pay their respects to the families who had lost loved ones.