Independent Candidate wins Caol and Mallaig by-election For Highland Council
2nd May 2014
The by-election for a councillor to serve the Caol and Mallaig ward on The Highland Council has been won by Ben Thompson, Independent.
Mr Thomson was one of five candidates, who contested the vacancy, created by the retiral of Eddie Hunter in February. He joins Councillors Bill Clark (SNP) and Allan Henderson (Independent) in representing Ward 12.
Voting was by the single transferable vote and Mr Thompson emerged as the winner at the fourth stage of the count, gaining 932 of the 2,391 valid first preference votes cast. The quota was 1,196. 23 votes were rejected.
The turn out was 34.4%.
The other candidates were:
- William Keelie MacDonald, Scottish National Party (SNP).
- Liam Kevin Simmonds, UK Independence Party (UKIP).
- Susan Wallace, Scottish Christian Party "Proclaiming Christ’s Lordship".
- Sandy Watson.
Mr Thompson said: "I am very excited and motivated to work for the Caol and Mallaig Ward on The Highland Council. I appreciate all the efforts of the other candidates in highlighting local issues during the by-election campaign. I look forward to my new role and doing the best for everyone in my Ward."
The representation of the 80-member Council now is: - Independent 34, SNP 21, Liberal Democrats 14, Labour 8, Independent Nationalist 1, Non-aligned 2.
Nominations are being invited from people seeking election onto eight community councils across the Highlands. The resignation of some members have brought the following six community council's down to below half of their memberships so interim elections have been called in order to fill the vacancies.
The Highland Council and its Commercial and Procurement Shared Services partners Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils are running a series of events to help businesses supply to the public sector. Some of the events are hosted by other organisations and we will be signposting suppliers to these as well.
Leader of the Highland Council, Margaret Davidson has moved to reassure communities about forthcoming budget decisions. She said: "No decisions will be made until the Council meets on 15 February.
At Highland Council work has been ongoing for some months to prepare a Revenue and Capital Budget for 2018/19 and beyond, with the anticipation of a significant cut to available funds. The Scottish Government's proposed grant settlement was announced on 14 December 2017.
Around £3 million of funding has been agreed for a ground-breaking Highland project that could transform the lives of people with complex health needs as part of the Inverness and Highland City Region Deal. The business case for the ‘FitHome' assisted living project was approved in November last year with £3m funding from the Scottish Government.
An article in the Press and Journal today 9th January 2018 highlights the cuts in staffing levels across Scottish councils with Highland being one of the highest. In 2009 Highland had 9953 Full-time Equivalent Staff and in 2017 it had dropped by 21% to 7838.
Highland Council Trading Standards team has recently seen an increase in scams targeting Highland businesses. The most common scams reported by businesses relate to marketing and publishing but other frauds such as those involving demands for payment for unsolicited goods sent to businesses (such as ink cartridges which were never ordered) are also on the rise.
Cognitive improvements to be included in Blue Badge scheme The disabled person's parking badge pilot, which was launched in April 2016, has been made permanent by the Scottish Government. The eligibility criteria were revised and extended under a pilot to allow carers and relatives of people who pose a risk to themselves or others in traffic to apply for a disabled person's parking badge, provided they meet the criteria.
People looking to pick up a New Year bargain in the sales on the internet, by mail order or on the high street are being encouraged by The Highland Council's Trading Standards team to be aware of their consumer rights and to stay safe online from scams and fake websites that try to dupe inexperienced online shoppers trying to buy a bargain. Consumers have extra protection when they shop online.
The British Hospitality Association secured a major victory today (21 December2017) as the Scottish Government confirmed that any plans for a ‘tourist tax' in Edinburgh - or any other Scottish cities - are firmly off the table. The BHA has been campaigning consistently for over six years against the implementation of any such additional and uncompetitive tax and is delighted that the Scottish Government has recognised our reservations.
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