Highland Lib Dem by-election candidates set out their stalls

It’s great to have local government by-elections back, especially when we have as good a night as we did last Thursday.

We have a really good chance of gaining two new councillors in the Highlands on August 12th.

Colin Aitken is hoping to gain the Inverness West seat from Independent and Jill Tilt is hoping to gain Wick and East Caithness, also from Independent.

Liberal Democrat councillors are currently in administration with the Labour and Independent groups in this vast council which stretches from the north coast to Skye , Lochaber and more than 50 miles south of Inverness.

It takes a good 2.5-3 hours to drive between the two wards, although the journey is much easier than it was when I used to do it frequently in the 80s.

Colin and Jill have been setting out what they want to achieve as Councillors for their areas.

From the Inverness Courier:

The Lib Dem candidate in the upcoming Inverness West by-election has described the city as being at a “crucial moment” in the recovery from the Covid pandemic.

Originally from Canada, Colin Aitken has lived and worked in the Highlands since 2015 and has made Inverness his home.

“I love Inverness – the people here have been so welcoming,” he said. “However huge challenges, such as opportunities for young people and the impact of Covid-19, mean this is a crucial moment for our area.

“The pandemic will change our city forever. We need big ideas and urgent action to rise to the challenge.

“From giving young people the chance to build their lives here, to rebuilding the city from Covid ready for the future, we can renew Inverness to become a thriving, green and affordable place to live and work.

“I am very excited to work with Councillor Alex Graham to make sure we get the best deal for Inverness West.”

Jill set out her priorities in the John O’Groat Journal

I believe people are looking for a no-nonsense councillor who is willing to roll up their sleeves and get things done.

With my army family background, that’s what I am offering to the residents of Wick and East Caithness.

If elected, I will be accessible, I will be transparent and I will do my very best to achieve positive outcomes for our area.

Over the past four years we have had a strong local advocate in departing councillor Nicola Sinclair, and I would like to build upon her good work.

As a Watten resident of almost 15 years, I understand the challenges facing the far north.

Whether it be our roads and signage, healthcare provision, transport links or council services, we all know that there is much room for improvement.

I will work cross-party with my fellow Caithness councillors to influence change – whether to achieve more efficient road repairs, better bus services, or strengthened mental health support. I will advocate for a strong and well-funded Caithness Area Committee to ensure our voices are heard.

Over the past 18 months, what I have admired more than anything is how people in our area have pulled together to look after Caithness and take care of one another.

But we’ve all seen how difficult it can be to bring about change. It takes hard work, perseverance, and a dedicated community.

If elected, I will continue to work in that spirit – with cooperation and determination – to advocate for everyone in Wick and East Caithness.

I did some campaigning for Colin when I was up in the Black Isle on holiday last month, and really enjoyed it. If you happen to be in the Highlands between now and August 12th and have a few hours to spare to campaign in some of the most beautiful scenery in the country,  contact Tracey Cooper on [email protected]

You can see all the forthcoming by-elections with details of how to offer help on ALDC’s website. 


* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • nigel hunter 1st Aug '21 - 1:28pm

    As many ‘troops’ as possible will be needed to help.
    Is it a good idea to organise a Zoom system for people to keep in touch?

  • Nigel Colman 1st Aug '21 - 8:46pm

    The Highlands of Scotland were some of the strongest areas in the UK for the Lib dems in the days of Kennedy, Johnston & Maclennan. It’s time for them to return home.

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