By-election – prospective candidates encouraged to stand

By-election – prospective candidates encouraged to stand
28 July 2020

Orkney Islands Council is encouraging people interested in serving their community to consider standing in the by-election for the North Isles ward.

The by-election follows the death in April of North Isles Councillor, Kevin Woodbridge. It will take place on Thursday 1 October.

Nomination forms for prospective candidates are now available and these can be lodged with the Council from Friday 14 August and by Monday 31 August.

Interim Chief Executive John Mundell said: “If you have considered standing for election in the past, or feel that you could contribute now to local government in Orkney, this is a great opportunity to serve the community and gain some experience as a Councillor until the next Local Government elections take place again in May 2022.

“I would encourage everyone who feels they may be able to contribute to the local democratic process to consider standing as a candidate in this by-election.”

The North Isles ward is served by three Councillors. Along with Councillor Woodbridge, Councillor Graham Sinclair and Councillor Stephen Clackson were elected at the last Local Government election.

Councillor Sinclair said: “Being a North Isles Councillor is a challenging yet rewarding and very varied post to hold. I find it very satisfying when you can help a ward member with their problems, making the necessary connections to the services they require, or raising an issue that an isles community is facing.

“I live on the Mainland and I don’t feel this has been a disadvantage to me, as I have lived in the isles for many years previously. But I do feel that candidates should have some idea of what life in the isles is like.

“For me, the only essential requirement is a genuine interest in the communities in the isles and a desire to help move them forward.

“With eight different Community Councils within the ward, all on different islands, I can honestly say that the travel between these communities is an enjoyable part of the job - in the Summer months especially!”

Councillor Clackson said: “Owing to its geography, the North Isles ward, with its 13 inhabited islands, eight Community Councils and relatively restrictive transport connections, is logistically the hardest one to serve.

“Each of the isles is a community in its own right with its own issues that you as a Councillor need to get involved with. An important role we have is to make sure that the views of our local communities are represented and fed into decisions taken by the Council.

“To do this effectively you need to experience and properly understand the day-to-day challenges our ward constituents face. For me, actually living in the North Isles has helped greatly with this.

“Our ward constituents are the folk that really matter in this job. Being able to help them, and their appreciation of the effort we put in on their behalf, is what makes representing this ward truly worthwhile.”

More information about the role of a Councillor is available here.

Nomination forms for prospective candidates are available by calling the Council’s Election Office on 01856886350 or sending an email. They will also be available online later this week.

School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

Telephone: 01856 873535

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Orkney Islands Council: BOREAS DOMUS MARE AMICUS