Work begins for new East Garioch councillor
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New East Garioch councillor David Keating has thanked the people of the area for putting their trust in him.
Mr Keating, who represents the Scottish Conservatives, was announced as the winner of the ward's by-election on Friday.
It was called after the death of Fergus Hood in March, who had represented the area since 2007.
Mr Keating won after receiving 1240 votes beating the SNP's Dan Ritchie who received 963 votes.
Trevor Mason of the Scottish Liberal Democrats received 281 votes; Jamie Ogilvie of the Scottish Greens 130 votes and Scottish Labour's Andy Brown 111 votes.
The electorate was 10,445, the total verified votes were 2740 and the turnout was 26.2 per cent.
Following his victory Mr Keating thanked his party workers, activists and friends who had helped with his campaign stating that he was “very grateful” for their support.
His thanks were extended to “the people who have run this election, the returning officer, voting officers and the tellers”.
Mr Keating said: “I think we often don’t recognise enough how robust our British democracy is and it’s robust because the people who run these elections have integrity and are even handed and I don’t think I have ever had anybody querying the process of our elections.
"Thank you to the people of East Garioch for putting your trust in me, I certainly have no intention of letting you down.
"One of the things I heard on doorsteps two or three times is the frustration of the binary nature of our politics.
"Both in my professional life and my charity work I’m not a great fan of binary, I think there is a point to hear just about everything anybody has to say and certainly if I try to do anything in my time as a councillor it will be to listen to the opposing point of view and see what I can do to fashion consensus.
"I am only human, I probably won't manage it all the time, but it is something I intend to try."
Mr Keating is a Kintore resident who has spent more than 40 years in the oil industry.
During this time he has helped as a BP school liaison to Kemnay Academy.
He has also been a Samaritan volunteer for more than 20 years, part of which has involved running workshops in secondary schools across Aberdeenshire to help pupils develop emotional health coping skills. He is also a member of Kintore Kirk.
He has become the second Scottish Conservatives representative for the area alongside Dominic Lonchay.
Mr Keating added: "I am honoured to have been selected to represent the area.
"I put high value on making wise decisions by listening to the evidence and weighing things up for the benefit of the community.
"The main issues that came up from the public during the campaigning were the state of the roads and concern about flooding.
"The council covers a lot of services and I am looking forward to working with all the councillors.
"It is an exciting time ahead and it is something new for me, so there's obviously that sense of slight trepidation.
"It will be challenging and a learning process, but I will be able to learn from those who have more experience to try and make a difference."
SNP candidate, Dan Ritchie, said: "I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate Mr Keating, and wish him well in his new role.
"I am disappointed to not be successful this time, however I am pleased to see an increase in the SNP vote share, up to 35 per cent.
"I would like to thank all of those who placed their faith in me with their votes, and to all those who campaigned for me throughout the last few weeks."
Mr Keating's election brings Aberdeenshire Council to almost a full complement of elected members.
The council will be back up to 70 elected members following the Mid Formartine by-election to be held in August, following Karen Adam being elected MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast.
Returning officer and Aberdeenshire Council chief executive Jim Savege said: “The appointment sees Aberdeenshire Council take a step closer towards being restored to full democratic strength.
"I would like to thank colleagues from across the council for the smooth and successful running of this by-election.”