Nine candidates to contest Highland Council by-election
3rd November 2018
Nine candidates are standing for election to fill a vacancy for the Wester Ross, Strathpeffer and Lochalsh Ward of The Highland Council.
The by-election is being held following the resignation of Kate Stephen who was one of four Councillors representing Ward 5. The other Ward members are Councillors Biz Campbell (Independent), Ian Cockburn (Scottish National Party) and Derek MacLeod (Scottish Conservative and Unionist)
The candidates standing are:
Gavin Berkenheger - Scottish Conservative and Unionist
Christopher Birt - Scottish Labour Party
Irene Frances Brandt - Scottish Green Party
Harry Christian - Scottish Libertarian Party
Jean Davis - Independent
Les Durance - UKIP Scotland
Richard Greene - Independent
Alexander MacInnes - Scottish National Party (SNP)
George Scott - Scottish Liberal Democrats
Voting will take place on Thursday 6 December with the count taking place within the ward on Friday 7.
Those intending to vote are reminded that the single transferable vote system will be used. Instead of using a cross, voters should number the candidates in the order of their choice, putting a number 1 in the box next to the name of the candidate who is their first choice, 2 in the box next to their second choice and so on. Voters can mark as many choices as they wish. Voters are asked to put no other mark on the ballot paper as this could result in their vote not being counted.
Anyone eligible to vote can vote in person on the day or apply for either a postal vote or to vote by proxy. The latest time to apply for a postal vote is 5.00pm on Tuesday 20 November and the deadline for anyone wishing to apply to vote by proxy is Tuesday 27 December. Advice on postal and proxy voting is available by contacting the Electoral Registration Office on 0800 393783.
The Notice of Poll with details of the candidates and their agents is available from The Highland Council's website - :
The current political make-up of The Highland Council is as follows;
Scottish Conservative and Unionist (11)
Scottish Green Party (1)
Scottish Labour Party (3)
Scottish Liberal Democrats (9)
Scottish National Party (19)
Sutherland Independent Group (1)
With 1 vacancy for Ward 5.
On 22nd January 2019 the Moray West wind Farm planning application returns to the North Planning committee but merely fro some slight changes to the location of some turbines to lessen the impact on certain views. The original permission and this one is not within the power of the committee but they have the ability to enter and objection.
Police in Lochaber can confirm that a 27-year-old man has been arrested in connection with alleged consumer protection offences in Fort William. It follows an investigation by Police Scotland and Highland Council Trading Standards, after a report was received this week of "bogus workmen" in Fort William and alleged fraudulent activity relating to charges for work carried out on a house in the town.
DETAILED analysis of the Scottish Government's funding settlement, which makes up the vast proportion of the Council's budget, has been carried out and the net result is that the Highland Council will see a reduction in its grant funding to provide the current level of services. This, together with the additional pressures equates to a £31.2M budget gap for 2019-20.
Highland Council Trading Standards have produced guidance on how to spot the signs of scams that target businesses and also remind businesses to inform their employees on what to look out for when dealing with unsolicited telephone calls, emails and texts. All businesses as well as non-profit organisations (such as charitable organisations) may spend a lot of time dealing with potential scammers.
The Highland Council has written to parents and carers of school transport pupils to inform them that D&E Coaches have recently transferred a number of Highland Council contracts to Stagecoach and some school transport routes are included. These changes are to take effect from the first day back after the school holidays, Monday 7th January 2019 and timetables have been supplied for the routes affected.
Twenty nine members of The Highland Council's Care and Learning team have celebrated their success in completing the Council's 15 month ‘Lead On’ programme. ‘Lead On’, is a programme designed to develop practitioners’ understanding of change leadership and apply this through a change initiative in their place of work.
Highland Councillors are looking forward beyond the current Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal and asking: "What next and where?". Following publication of the Deal's annual report, Leader of The Highland Council Cllr Margaret Davidson said: "A meeting will be convened in the New Year with Councillors who have a particular interest in the City-Region Deal to talk about where we can go next and what we can do.".
Work underway to determine Highland's Budget allocation. Commenting after the news received last night of Councils' individual allocations, from the Scottish Government’s draft Budget, Budget Leader Councillor Alister Mackinnon said: "Having received the details of our allocation just last night, it will take some time to work through the proposed settlement and do a detailed analysis.
THROUGHOUT the month of November, The Highland Council's Chief Executive and members of the budget team have met with staff, groups and communities across the length and breadth of the Highlands. These sessions were part of a budget engagement exercise which also included facebook chats, survey, leaflet, video, and a budget challenge to raise awareness of budget challenges and gather views and priorities.
The Highland Council is to carry out a public consultation on the implementation of a transient visitor levy in the New Year. During the Council's public engagement activity during November, a strong theme was support for raising income from tourism, including a tourist levy, which could support local infrastructure, as well as the tourism sector itself.
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