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Keith-Cullen by-election candidates unveiled

By Alan Beresford

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BOTH the SNP and Conservatives unveiled their candidates for the forthcoming Keith-Cullen council by-election as nominations closed for the poll last week.

A total of four hopefuls have cast their hats into the ring in a bid to claim the seat left vacant by the retiral of Independent councillor Ron Shepherd.

Contesting the seat are: Ian Aitchison (Scottish Liberal Democrats); Rob Barsby (Independent); Jock McKay (Scottish National Party); Laura Powell (Conservative.

Mr Aitchison hails from the Rothiemay part of the ward, Mr McKay is from Keith while both Mr Barsby and Ms Powell live in Portknockie.

Commenting on his nomination Mr McKay, who previously ran a pub in Keith, said: ““I’ve had a varied career including serving as a prison officer, running my own pub and being a janitor at Keith Primary School, which I feel gives me a broad range of skills and experience that I could put to good use.

“Others might also know me from my involvement in the Kiltwalk where I’ve done my best to raise funds for some well-known local charities.

“There’s no doubt that these are interesting but challenging times in politics and it has never been more important that we have real local champions representing us and making sure that our voice is heard in the Moray Council.

“I care deeply about our local area and would work tirelessly for all of the communities in the Keith and Cullen ward – from Cullen and Portknockie on the coast – to rural communities like Newmill, Grange and Rothiemay, and Keith, where I live with my family.”

Ms Powell has a wide range of experience in local government and is involved with local groups in Portknockie.

She commented: “As a Portknockie resident, I love the people and the Keith and Cullen area, it is such a wonderful place to stay.

“I hope that my experience working within a local authority and before that running a Post Office has given me a wide range of skills that have prepared me for being your councillor. I know how a local authority works and how to get things done.

“At this by-election it is vitally important that the new councillor is able to hit the ground running.

“I look forward to campaigning over the next few weeks and would be honoured to be elected so I can be a strong voice for Keith and Cullen.”

Voting will take place on Thursday, November 21. See Moray Council’s website for more information on the various voting options and deadlines.

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