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Political Information

Elections May 2007
Highland Council
Caithness and Sutherland

Election Results At Highland Council
Caithness Results - Councillors elected showing the Single Transferable Vote  - First Preferences
To see the full result with additional votes transferred click the ward link.
Landward Caithness

Turn out = 57.26%   Valid votes = 4,631  Quota = 927 
David Bremner (SNP) 871, Willie Mackay (Independent) 845, David Flear (LibDem) 805, Robert Coghill (Independent) 657

Turn out  52.97%  Valid votes = 3,324 Quota = 832
Donnie Mackay (Independent) 1001,  John Rosie (Independent) 704,  Marion Thurso (Lib Dem 541

Turn out 46.35%  Valid votes = 2,621 Quota = 656
Bill Fernie (Independent) 793, Katrina MacNab (Independent) 451, Graeme Smith (LibDem) 407

Political Make Up Of Highland Council From 4th May 2007
Independent   35
Liberal Democrat  21
SNP  17
Scottish Labour Party   7

31 May 07
Office-Bearers Elected
The Highland Council today (Thursday) agreed its new committee structure and its team of office-bearers. With the exception of the Audit and Scrutiny Committee, all the office-bearers are members of the new Independent/Scottish National Party Administration.

At its first meeting on 17 May, the Council elected Councillor Sandy Park (Independent) as Convener and Councillor Jean Urquhart (SNP) as Vice-Convener.

The full committee structure and office-bearers are as follows:

Resources Committee:
Chairman: Carolyn Wilson, Cromarty Firth
Vice-Chairman: Peter Cairns, Dingwall and Seaforth

Education Culture and Sport Committee:
Chairman: Roderick Balfour, Culloden and Ardersier
Vice-Chairman: Bren Gormley, Fort William and Ardnamurchan

Housing and Social Work Committee:
Chairman: Margaret Davidson, Aird and Loch Ness
Vice-Chairman: Liz MacDonald, Nairn

Planning Environment and Development Committee:
Chairman: Drew Hendry, Aird and Loch Ness
Vice-Chairman: Isobel McCallum, Black Isle

Transport Environmental and Community Services Committee:
Chairman: John Laing, Eilean a' Che~
Vice-Chairman: Roy Pedersen, Inverness South

Audit and Scrutiny Committee:
Chairman: David Alston, Black Isle

Gaelic Committee:
Chairman: Hamish Fraser, Eilean a' Cheo

City of Inverness Committee:
Chairman and Provost: Bob Wynd, Culloden and Ardersier

Caithness Sutherland and Easter Ross Planning Applications and Review Committee:
Chairman: Donald Mackay, Thurso
Vice-Chairman: Robert Coghill, Landward Caithness

Ross Skye and Lochaber Planning Applications and Review Committee:
Chairman: David Chisholm, Dingwall and Seaforth
Vice-Chairman: Bill Clark, Caol and Mallaig

Inverness Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey Planning Applications and Review Committee:
Chairman: Ian Brown, Inverness Millburn
Vice-Chairman: Bob Wynd, Culloden and Ardersier

Caithness Sutherland and Easter Ross Licensing Committee:
Chairman: Alasdair Rhind, Tain and Easter Ross

Ross Skye and Lochaber Licensing Committee:
Chairman: Margaret Paterson, Dingwall and Seaforth

Inverness Nairn and Badenoch and Strathspey Licensing Committee:
Chairman: Peter Corbett, Inverness Central

The Special Responsibility Allowances paid to Chairmen of the Strategic Committees is 23,600 and the payment to Chairmen of Area Planning and Licensing Committees is 19,600. The Vice-Chairmen of Resources, Education, Culture and Sport, Housing and Social Work, Planning, Environment and Development and Transport Environmental and Community Services will be paid 18,600. Other posts of Vice-Chairmen are not remunerated.

The Convener will receive an allowance of 36,000. The Vice-Convener will be paid 27,041.

The allowances include the 15,492 paid as a salary to each of the 80 councillors, who serve on the Council in 14 four-member and 8 three-member wards.

Candidates Information will be added here as it is announced

All Highland Council Wards Candidates

The Council Elections Will Use the Single Transferable Vote system for the first time in 2007. Here are a couple of links to help understand the new system

  1. A Mock STV Election  Electoral Reform Society Web Site

  2. Single Transferable Vote (STV) - how it works for the council elections for the first time.  This animation is from Australia but it is the same system being used for the council elections now.

Candidates In Caithness For Highland Council as at 28 Feb 2007
There will be three wards instead of ten for Caithness under the new Electoral system in May 2007
Thurso, Wick and Caithness Landward with Wick and Thurso having extended boundaries.

Political Make Up Of Highland Councillors At Present (to 3 May 2007)
The present Highland council is mad up of majority of independents and those with party affiliations being in the minority
Independent 53 | Liberal Democrats 13 | Labour 7 | SNP 6

Wick 8 Candidates - 3 to be elected
Jack Brooker (Conservative) -
Address Fuinary, High Street, Cromarty, Ross-shire
No info as yet....................

Laurel Bush - Independent
Mr Bush has decided not to supply any information to us.

Bill Fernie Independent currently Councillor Wick West
More about Bill Fernie
Bill Fernie puts Wick and Caithness at the top of his agenda.  He is involved in many aspects of Wick's community and apart from promoting the area via this website is actively involved in  with groups tackling issues for the young and the elderly.  He loses no chance to tell people in the south and Inverness what opportunities there are in Caithness.  He believes that choosing independent people to represent gets a better representation locally than the party political system.

Katrina MacNab Independent currently Councillor Pulteneytown
Your Local Independent Councillor
Securing a better future for Wick
Vote and decide on the future of your town.
Elected for the first time 4 years ago, my work has focused mainly on local issues, Education Culture and Sport, and Housing and Social Work.
"As an Independent Councillor I make decisions based on what is best for the local people in the local communities I serve, NOT what is best for national political parties."

Heather Miller - Independent
I have lived in Caithness all my life, was born in Lybster where I lived until I moved to Wick in 1983. I am the granddaughter of the late Danny and Nellie MacGregor who used to have the shop in Bank Row which many people will remember. I work as the Money Adviser with the Caithness Citizens Advice Bureau.

Jim Oag Labour previously a councillor for Pulteneytown
Previously a councillor for many years and defeated in the 2003 election when Katrina MacNab (Independent) took the Pulteneytown Ward.  Jim has been chair of Albyn Housing Society Limited for the last 4 years.


Graeme Smith LibDem currently Councillor Wick
Local Issues Come First
Pot holes are often more important than policy
Policy making might seem important to the "talking heads" in Council headquarters but the first responsibility of the new ward councillors must be to the ward.  Over the past eight years I have fought for series of issues affecting Wick.

Niall Smith - SNP
Niall Smith is currently the manager for Caithness Voluntary Group



Thurso 7 Candidates - 3 to be elected

Alexander Bain (Conservative)
No information as yet.................

Ian Grant - Independent
Currently Community Councillor for Caithness West. Ian leads on planning issues for Caithness West Community Council. He supports affordable housing, improvements in public transport for the local community and the fight for ASDA to come to Caithness. Ian is 47 years old, works as a Fire-fighter at Dounreay, is a Safety Representative and is actively involved in the Union

Donnie Mackay Independent currently councillor for Thurso Central

Donald Mackintosh - Scottish National Party (SNP)

John Rosie - Independent
John Rosie a former Labour councillor in Thurso is back on the campaign trail but this time as an Independent. He will be competing against his  six other candidates including his former former Labour ally Roger Saxon. John has set out a raft of policies to campaign on including support for ASDA coming to the town.

Roger Saxon Labour currently Councillor Thurso West
Roger Saxon has been a councillor for Thurso West since 1999 and is the Caithness chairman for education, culture and sport. He is active in many local organisations, has a special interest in youth issues and is chairman of Caithness sports council. He works at Dounreay as a technical consultant.

Marion Thurso - LibDem
"Marion Thurso has lived full-time at Thurso East since 2001, where she runs her own small business and assists her husband, John, with his constituency work. She also works with a number of local and national organisations. She is a mother of three and a keen supporter of youth groups. She has worked as a part-time carer for the elderly, which gave her useful experience of carer's needs."

Caithness Landward
8 Candidates - 3 to be elected

David Bremner - Scottish National Party (SNP)
26 years of age, married with 4 year old son and works as a fitter at Dounreay. Also active within the Trade Union's on the Dounreay site as an Amicus Shop Steward.



Robert Coghill - Independent
Local Farmer Robert Coghill enters the Caithness Landward contest determined to use his experience to benefit the whole of Caithness.
"A strong independent voice for Landward Caithness" is his slogan. "As a working farmer I have represented rural Caithness on a number of National bodies and am a former Bower Community Councillor." He says "As your Councillor I will work hard in promoting important issues for Landward Caithness."

David Flear LibDem currently councillor for Caithness Central
David Flear is currently the councillor for Caithness Central and Caithness area convenor. He chairs the joint committee on community care where his experience as a social work manager is of great benefit.  David Flear is also a fully qualified nurse in addition to his social work degree.


Alastair MacDonald LibDem currently Councillor Caithness North West
Present Vice-Convener of the Caithness Area of the Highland Council and Chairman of the Dounreay Stakeholder Group, representing the community on all matters relating to the Dounreay site. His priorities include using his extensive experience of local government to make the new system work effectively and provide a local service delivery and ensuring that the Highland Council continues to play a full part in helping to balance the job reductions at Dounreay.

Willie Mackay MBE - Independent
Willie Mackay known in Caithness as Willie Mackay "the AI Man" has served the Caithness farming communities for the past 37 years as a cattle breeding inseminator.  He is currently the chairman of the voluntary run branch of ENABLE for learning disabled.  Hobbies include after dinner speaking, concert and celidh speaking compere and taking part in Burns suppers.

Bill Mowat - Labour
Bill Mowat was a councillor from 1978 and is returning to attempt to get back into local politics after several years. He is Thurso born writer and journalist.


Colin Sutherland (Conservative)

Duncan Winfield - Independent
"I am standing as as an Independent candidate in order to represent the interests of all the electors in the Landward Caithness ward. As an Independent. I have no political axe to grind, and will therefore be in a position to "tell the emperor that he has no clothes on" without fear of intimidation or recrimination. I am aware that the effectiveness of a politician's tenure is usually in inverse proportion to the magnitude of his pre-election promises. I will make no promises. However, if elected, I will endeavour to represent and pursue the best interests of the people of Caithness."

Not Standing in 2007 Election
John Green Independent Councillor Caithness North East - Standing Down
William Mowat Independent Liberal currently councillor Caithness South East Standing Down
Tom Jackson - Independent - currently councillor Thurso East - Standing Down

Other Candidates Get In Touch
Other candidates will be added to this list as they announce they are standing. If any prospective candidates have already decided to run get in touch to be added to this listing.

Highland Council Web Site
Highland Council 2007 Election Information
Vote Scotland

The New Single Transferable Vote (STV) system For Scottish Council Elections

11 April 07
Surge Of Candidates For May Council Elections In Caithness
Seven Candidates in Thurso - Alexander Bain (Conservative), Ian Grant (Independent), Donald Mackay, Donald Mackintosh (SNP), John Rosie (Independent), Roger Saxon (Labour), Marion Thurso (LibDem)
Eight Candidates In Wick - Jack Brooker (Conservative) Fuinary, High Street, Cromarty, Ross-shire, IV11 8YR, Laurel Bush (Independent), Bill Fernie (Independent), Katrina MacNab (Independent), Heather Miller, Jim Oag (Labour), Graeme Smith (LibDem), Niall Smith (SNP)
Eight Candidates In Caithness Landward
David Bremner (SNP), Robert Coghill (Independent), David Flear (LibDem), Alastair MacDonald (LibDem), Willie "AI" Mackay (Independent) Bill Mowat (Labour), Colin Sutherland (Conservative), Duncan Winfield

11 April 07
Highland Council Elections Candidates Announced
183 Candidates to Contest 22 New Council Multi-Member Wards

The elections for the 80 seats on The Highland Council, being held on Thursday 3 May, will involve 183 candidates contesting all of the 22 new multi-member wards.

The breakdown of candidates is as follows: - 72 Independents; 22 Conservative; 22 Labour; 22 Liberal Democrats; 22 Scottish National Party; 3 Green; 2 Scottish Senior Citizens Unity Party; 2 Solidarity; 2 Solidarity - Scotland's Socialist Movement; 1 Scottish Socialist Party - Scrap Council Tax and 1 Liberal Democrat Focus Team. 12 candidates gave no description of their affiliation.

In 2003, there were 170 candidates , 20 of whom were returned without contest and in 1999, there were 172 candidates, 22 of whom were returned without contest.

11 candidates are seeking election in three wards - the four-member North West and Central Sutherland ward; the three-member East Sutherland and Edderton ward and the four-member Fort William and Ardnamurchan ward.

There are 10 candidates seeking election in the three-member Tain and Easter Ross ward; the three-member Caol and Mallaig ward; and the four-member Inverness Ness-side ward.

49 sitting councillors are seeking re-election, while 30 are retiring. There is one vacancy on the 80-member council.

There is no period for withdrawal of nominations.

Results of the elections are due by 2 pm on Friday 4 May.

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