Thurso East Bi-election
Highland Council

Caithness Community Web Site News Index
Tom Jackson Thanks Everyone Who Voted For Him 30 November
Tom Jackson who won the Thurso East bi-election for the Highland Council said he was absolutely delighted with the result..  "I would like to say thanks to all who helped me and voted for me and I look forward to working for the benefit of all the residents of Thurso East Ward, Caithness and the Highlands"

30 November 2001

Thurso East Ward Was won by Tom Jackson Independent.  The result was as follows
Tom Jackson - Independent -  403 votes
Colin Punler - Scottish Labour - 226 votes
The turn out was 30%. The representation of the council is now 50 Ind; 11 Labour; 10 Lib Dems and 9 SNP.
The Thurso East election is to be held on 29 November 2001 and polling station At Mount Pleasant School will be open between 8.00am and 9.00pm
Information here is provided by the candidates themselves -

The Candidates

Tom Jackson
Independent Candidate

aged 57, Born in Fife 1944

Married to Margaret. Three Grown Up Children

Entered Local Government in 1962 with Hometown Council, Burgh of Buckhaven and Methil and served as a trainee accountant/apprentice until 1967. Working in the Treasurer’s Department of Kincardine County Council in Stonehaven when married to wife, Margaret , in 1968. Thereafter moved to Cumbernauld where the newly formed Town Council was recruiting staff. This mini reorganisation as Cumbernauld separated from Dunbarton County Council , proved to be the first of three reorganisations to be experienced in a career in Local Government Finance.

1974 brought the move to Thurso and to some extent the position for which the previous twelve years training had been aimed, as Town Chamberlain of the Burgh of Thurso. This position also included the work of Collector of Rates and Housing Factor. It was then that the Burgh Surveyor, David Stewart, later to become a close friend, introduced Tom to Thurso Town Improvements Association and Gala Week. A short spell as Chairman followed a few years later when Sam Meiklejohn decided to retire. Thurso Round Table also featured at this time and roles included Sales Officer, Community Service Convenor and Area Representative.

1975 of course brought the first Major Local Government Re-organisation since1929.  The demise of Thurso Town Council, the creation of Caithness District Council, Highland Regional Council and appointment as Depute Director of Finance for the District Council.  This appointment was to last for the life of Caithness District Council.

The 1980’s saw a lengthy involvement with Thurso Amateur Swimming Club as Instructor/Coach/Technical Official (Referee) and as a Committee Representative. It was as a Representative for Water Sports that Membership of the Thurso Community Council first arose.

1996 brought the second major reorganisation of
Local Government.  Now Caithness District Council had disappeared to be replaced by the Highland Council. Local had disappeared from Local Government bringing an end to a career lasting 34 years in Local Government Finance and Administration as voluntary redundancy/early retirement was the preferred option.

1998 saw the creation of ‘The Way Ahead’ in Partnership with wife Margaret . We are Complementary Health Therapists in Hypnotherapy, Reiki and Bowen Body Therapy. 

On-going involvement with the Community Council led to being appointed Chairman in 1999 and while the inequitable funding scheme works to the severe disadvantage of Community Councils as large as Thurso, (the greatest number of Electors in the Highlands), and restricts full Community consultation and planning, some credit is taken for the Creation of ‘Thurso in Bloom’, and Thurso Beyond 2000 (Santa’s Village and Riverside).

I am seeking your support as the independent candidate to voice loudly and unhindered by party manifestos the concerns of electors in Thurso regarding lack of devolved power, inadequate resources and the lack of focus at Inverness on Caithness needs and wishes.  I believe my experience to date in local government and community organisations can be used to the advantage of residents in thruso and Caithness.

A clear message is necessary if the powers that be in Inverness and Edinburgh are to take note.

Why Vote For Me?
Is the Inverness based Highland Council delivering services geared to your priorities, needs and problems?

Are Council Taxes rising while local services are continually under pressure?

Is it a coincidence that Inverness has grown dramatically since Local Government and other agencies became centralised?

Is too much time, effort and resources concentrated on Inverness?

Why does Inverness City not now with to press the case for a separate Authority?

Can we afford £300,000 for Inverness to bid to be Capital of Culture in 2008.

A Local Authority geared to deal with the problems and services related to Thurso and Caithness can deliver better results.


Colin Punler
Labour Candidate

COLIN PUNLER (34) trained as a journalist with the Sunday Post, Dundee Courier and Evening Telegraph. In 1988, he was appointed Chief Reporter on the Groat and Courier.

A former Highlands and Islands Journalist of the Year, he reported on almost every aspect of life in Caithness and built up an in-depth knowledge of local government.

In January this year, he took up a new challenge as communications manager at Dounreay and is now closely involved in efforts to ensure the £4 billion decommissioning work brings lasting opportunities and benefits to the local community.

As a youngster, Colin was on the books of Dunfermline Athletic, the town where he was born. More recently, he spent three years developing opportunities for young people in the Ormlie area where he used to live, leading a community project that brought national recognition and more than £2 million of new funding into Caithness to help those in need.

He now resides at 2a Swanson Street with his three young children. Now no longer involved in the regeneration of Ormlie, he is ready to channel his efforts to helping meet the needs of the people of Thurso East.

By Councillor JOHN ROSIE
Local government needs new blood.  It needs young and able candidates with the strength and will to succeed. Colin Punler is just such a person.

I've worked with Colin for many years and know how dearly he holds the principles of fairness and social justice. He worked tirelessly to create new opportunities in Ormlie for those in greatest need. That same dynamic driving force is now ready to go to work on your behalf.

Ormlie's loss can undoubtedly be Thurso East's gain.  His network of contacts is impressive and his skills as a communicator are proven. The blend of youth and experience, his understanding of the needs of families and young people, his commitment to helping others less fortunate than himself, and his key role in the biggest investment in Caithness for half a century mark him out as an outstanding candidate you can trust.

I wholeheartedly commend him to you.

Colins Points Are -

To give priority to education and care of the elderly

To secure the best package for council housing

To work at all levels for skills training and sustainable employment

To accelerate the devolution of power from Inverness to Caithness

To safeguard and improve the wellbeing of the most vulnerable in society

To listen to your needs

To put your needs first