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MAY ELECTIONS: Departing councillor says working with Highland Council has been a 'frustrating experience'

By Caroline McMorran

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A councillor who is standing down at the May elections has said she has found her experience with Highland Council to be “frustrating and disheartening”.

Kirsteen Currie, SNP, was elected to the ward one - north, west and central Sutherland - at the 2017 elections and has served the full four years in office.

LEAVING: Cllr Kirsteen Currie.
LEAVING: Cllr Kirsteen Currie.

She said: “I have made the decision not to stand again as I’ve found the experience within the Highland council to be frustrating and at times completely disheartening.

“I chose to stand in 2017 to support communities to make real change and to participate in a fair, open and honest democratic system.

“I’m sad to say that has not been my experience. I sincerely hope that with a new council the tide will change and Highland Council will be able to support all of its citizens as we enter into some very challenging times ahead."

Ms Currie thanked local people in communities throughout the ward she represents for their “dedication and incredible” compassion, particularly during the last two years.

She is not the only councillor in the three-member north, west and central Sutherland ward to be standing down.

Veteran Liberal-Democrat community councillor Linda Munro has also indicated that she will not be putting her name forward for re-election.

LEAVING: Cllr Linda Munro.
LEAVING: Cllr Linda Munro.

She said: “I am stepping down in May and my resignation is with the Lib-Dem leader.

The third member in the ward is Durness hotelier Hugh Morrison, who stood on an Independent ticket. He said he had not yet made up his mind as to whether he would stand again, but would do so shortly.

Meanwhile in the East Sutherland and Edderton ward, two out of the three councillors have declared that they will be putting their names forward again.

Cllr Jim McGillivray, an Embo resident, and Cllr Richard Gale, who lives in Golspie, and is chairman of Sutherland County Committee, are both seeking re-election.

Cllr McGillivray said: “I will be standing under the Sutherland Independent label and I will continue to distance myself from the present Inverness-centric independent administration.”

STANDING: Cllr Jim McGillivray.
STANDING: Cllr Jim McGillivray.
STANDING: Cllr Richard Gale.
STANDING: Cllr Richard Gale.

Cllr Richard Gale is a Liberal-Democrat.

Brora resident and long-time councillor Deirdre Mackay, Labour, also represents the East Sutherland and Edderton ward but sister paper the Northern Times was unable to reach her to find out her intentions.

The Liberal-Democrats have put forward another candidate for the north, west and central Sutherland ward in a bid to replace Cllr Munro.

Bonar Bridge resident Michael Baird, who has been active in community affairs, revealed at a meeting of Creich Community Council that he was standing as a Lib-Dem candidate in the upcoming elections.

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