Search on for new resident sheriff
AFTER an absence of more than seven months, a new resident sheriff may soon be in town.
An advert was posted on the judicial appointment board’s (JAB) website on October 26 inviting applications from people wishing to be considered for the role at Fort William Sheriff Court.
Sheriff Richard Davidson held the position from February 2014 but has not presided over a case since May this year.
There has been uncertainty as to whether Mr Davidson would return to Fort William following his retirement in May and in the meantime cases have been heard by temporary, visiting or retired sheriffs. The Oban Times contacted JAB to find out why the position had been vacant for so long and was told a review had been carried out following Sheriff Davidson’s retirement and it was now deemed beneficial to recruit for a full-time sheriff at Fort William so the post holder could also cover other courts in the Highlands. A JAB spokesperson told The Oban
Times: ‘Fort William Sheriff Court has been and continues to be covered by sheriffs from other courts, part-time sheriffs and retired sheriffs with no disruption to court business.
‘Any costs associated with the deployment of part-time sheriffs will be neutral given the salary savings created by the resident sheriff vacancy.’
The sheriff clerk from Fort William court said he and his fellow staff have done their best to make sure things have been running smoothly. He added: ‘We have worked hard to ensure no adverse effects on anyone who has to come to court, and we have been told by various people that that has been the case, which is good to hear.
‘ We look forward to having a new resident sheriff if and when it happens.’
The JAB site is also inviting applications from people wishing to work 70 per cent of a full-time equivalent post based in Oban.
The spokesperson added: ‘The courts in Oban and Campbeltown have been covered by a retired sheriff, Sheriff Anderson, since October 2014.
‘ We are now advertising for a new sheriff to succeed her when she steps down next year.’