Newly elected coun­cil­lor ‘de­lighted to be back’

The Press and Journal (Inverness) - - NEWS - BY MICHELLE HEN­DER­SON

Tain and Easter Ross Ward have elected their new coun­cil­lor – de­spite the low­est turnout in his­tory.

In­de­pen­dent Coun­cil­lor Alasdair Rhind was re-elected to the ward by sin­gle trans­fer­able vote gain­ing a to­tal of 1,290.

The coun­cil­lor was knocked off his post just four months ago by Jamie Stone be­fore re­gain­ing his seat in the by-elec­tion yes­ter­day. Mr Stone is now at Westminster.

Coun­cil­lor Rhind said: “I am de­lighted to be back. This by-elec­tion was cre­ated with Jamie Stone be­ing made an MP and I am de­lighted that I got my seat back on the High­land Coun­cil.

“The turnout pro­duced a re­sult for me. I am de­lighted to be rep­re­sent­ing Tain and Easter Ross and work­ing with my col­leagues Fiona Robert­son and Derek Louden as we con­tinue to do our best for the ward of Tain and Easter Ross.”

The elec­torate was 7,190 and a to­tal of 2,593 bal­lots pa­pers were re­turned, with 29 spoiled bal­lot pa­pers. The over­all turnout from Ward 7 was 36.1%, a poor re­flec­tion of the coun­cil­lor’s ef­forts to get vot­ers ‘in­volved in the com­mu­nity’.

Coun­cil­lor Rhind added: “I’m very dis­ap­pointed with the low turn-out on the poll to­day. Only 36% voted and that sad­dens me. I would have pre­ferred peo­ple com­ing out to vote in their droves, not nec­es­sar­ily for me but for the other can­di­dates. All can­di­dates did well pro­mot­ing the elec­tion so I don’t know how we got such a low turnout to­day.”

The High­land Coun­cil is made up of 74 elected mem­bers. The new rep­re­sen­ta­tion is In­de­pen­dent 30; Scot­tish Con­ser­va­tive and Union­ist 10; Scot­tish Green Party 1; Scot­tish Labour Party 3; Scot­tish Lib­eral Democrats 9; Scot­tish Na­tional Party 21.

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