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Heldon and Laich candidates put out stall for May 5's local council election


By Abbie Duncan

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AHEAD of next months local elections, the six candidates for Moray's Heldon and Laich ward have given their views on why you should vote for them on May 4.

Andrew O'Neill, labour, running for Heldon and Laich in Council Elections 2022
Andrew O'Neill, labour, running for Heldon and Laich in Council Elections 2022

Andrew O’Neill, Labour Party

Having grown up in Hopeman I’m really proud to be Labour’s first ever candidate for Heldon and Laich.

Anas Sarwar has re-invigorated the Scottish Labour Party, and I’m thrilled to have been asked to be a part of the party’s comeback.

Labour plans to take decisive action on climate change. We want to see a massive shift in the way we move around Moray, by establishing a locally owned bus service providing Moray residents with a number of free journeys every year. We will also drive-up recycling by scrapping brown bin charges.

I work in FinTech, so I know the transformative power of new technology. We need to harness that potential by investing in new tech to support teachers and pupils.

Labour will also end the use of short-term contracts for teachers, providing genuine job security.

Bridget Mustard, conservative party, running for Heldon and Laich ward in Council Elections 2022
Bridget Mustard, conservative party, running for Heldon and Laich ward in Council Elections 2022

Bridget Mustard, Conservative Party

Bridget is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She moved to Scotland in 1989 when she married her husband, John Mustard. They met in Akron Ohio when both were undertaking their post graduate degrees. They have four children.

Bridget worked at Moray Council for almost 30 years in policy development. Since retiring in 2019, she undertook a Masters degree. On 1st April 2022, she graduated from the University of Stirling with a MLitt in Gender Studies.

Having a child with complex needs, Bridget’s priorities are influenced by her experiences particularly around improving services for vulnerable people; learning, teaching and education; and, health and wellbeing. In addition she is keen to support local issues around the infrastructure and transport links including active travel as well as the recovery from the pandemic, particularly the impact it has had on children and young people.

Bridget is pleased to be standing alongside her 10 other Scottish Conservative party candidates.

Calum Cameron, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Heldon and Laich local elections
Calum Cameron, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Heldon and Laich local elections

Calum Cameron, Liberal Democrats

I am proud to be a candidate for the Heldon and Laich ward.

I started as a chemical engineer in Dounreay, then Budweiser in London, before returning north to help care for my father who suffered from dementia for 10 years.

Lucky to work at Burghead maltings and Roseisle Distillery, I fell in love with the area moving into the ward in 2012.

The strong sense of community from Burghead continued when I moved to Hopeman.

I have a passion for environmental issues whether training my dog to pick up plastic bottles on walks to reducing CO2 emissions and water consumption across African Breweries last year.

Recently working across Africa and seeing tragedy when people fall through welfare cracks it has highlighted how important support services are for people impacted by the twin disasters of needless Brexit inflation and the ongoing Covid pandemic.

I now want to work to protect and develop the best possible services whether accommodation, care, or providing opportunities for young people to grow.

James Allan, conservative party, running for Heldon and Laich ward in Council Elections 2022
James Allan, conservative party, running for Heldon and Laich ward in Council Elections 2022

James Allan, Conservative Party

My name is James Allan, a Lossie loon standing as your local Conservative candidate for the Heldon and Laich ward. I was brought up in Lossiemouth and attended Hythehill Primary and Lossiemouth High School and am proud to have been a key member in securing the new replacement High School.

After leaving school I initially worked for Robertson’s of Elgin before following a career in leisure management, a move which saw me eventually running my own leisure business here in the town.

I also worked part-time with Moray Council working in nearly every department and area office in the council over the years, giving me first hand knowledge of council business.

I have served as a Councillor since 2012 and was the former Convenor of the council in 2017/18.

It is a great privilege to represent my hometown and the wider ward area but in my spare time I also work hard locally, being Captain of 4th Lossiemouth Boys’ Brigade, Treasurer and Chaplain to Lossiemouth Football Club, Chairman of the Lossiemouth- Hersbruck Twin Town Association and enjoy helping local schools and organisations with fundraising efforts.

Living in Lossiemouth and being active throughout the ward allows me to keep in touch with the important issues to the different communities which I hope to continue to represent.

Every vote will count and I ask for your support on 5th May to elect a strong local voice.

Councillors are there to represent you, and if elected I will never forget that, ensuring that your voice is both heard and listened to in Council.

John Cowe, independent, running for Heldon and Laich ward in Council Elections 2022
John Cowe, independent, running for Heldon and Laich ward in Council Elections 2022

John Cowe, Independent

For over nine years it has been my honour and privilege to serve the communities of Heldon and Laich as an independent councillor and with your vote , i hope to continue doing so.

Why independent, because local government is about local issues, there will be 26 councillors on Moray council in may and they should all work for the benefit of the people of Moray, and not be dictated to by central government.

During my term i have spent five years as chair of economic development and chair of the Moray economic partnership, massive transformation has taken place in the map of Heldon and Laich and indeed Moray .

I worked tirelessly to get a new school, pool, library and 4G pitch to serve the educational needs of pupils from Lossiemouth, Hopeman and Burghead, and so many more projects that have benefited our communities.

Much has been done to date and a great deal needs to be done for tomorrow.

Moray council has to find £22 million to balance its budget over the next two years, a challenge that will be almost impossible to meet with a 4.2% net reduction in its budget since 2013.

Neil Cameron, SNP, running for Heldon and Laich ward in Council Elections 2022
Neil Cameron, SNP, running for Heldon and Laich ward in Council Elections 2022

Neil Cameron, Scottish National Party

Standing for Council was never on the bucket list, well not until fairly recently! But then Heldon and Laich’s communities haven't always been well served by all of its elected councillors, at least not in recent times and with only a few exceptions. I want to improve that representation.

If elected I will represent all in my ward, seek to continue the excellent work an SNP led council has done for Moray and promote positive change across the ward as the representative of all voters and not just those who have voted for me.

Volunteering during Covid-19 showed me that we have strong and resilient communities. Like them I embrace hard work and challenges and I will not avoid these because they are difficult.

It would be an absolute privilege to represent the community that has made me feel so at home and that is why I am asking for your vote on 5th May.


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