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SNP announce Buckie by-election candidate

By Alan Beresford

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THE SNP have announced John Stuart as the party's candidate for the Buckie by-election.

John Stuart will be contesting the vacant Buckie seat for the SNP.
John Stuart will be contesting the vacant Buckie seat for the SNP.

Mr Stuart lived in Findochty before moving to Buckie in 2017. He shares his home with his son William and their dog Luna. They also live with a Ukrainian refugee who came to live in Buckie in July this year.

He has worked in social care since 1996, working with older people and adults with learning disabilities, and in later aspects of his career he led and managed services in Glasgow and in Elgin. Mr Stuart now currently works as a care inspector with the Care Inspectorate and plays an active role within his role within a trade union and through the equalies groups.

He has been involved in many groups locally in the community and volunteers his time to lead on some of those groups.

"I’m delighted to have been selected as the SNP candidate for the Buckie by-election," Mr Stuart said.

"I have lived in the Buckie area since 2013, calling Findochty and Buckie my home. I have found our communities to be supportive and hardworking, helping our area thrive.

"I found it easy and welcoming to get involved in our communities, be this starting up a beach cleaning group, or working within Buckie and District Community Council. My son goes to school locally, and will in a matter of years, join other pupils at the high school in Buckie, and I will be campaigning to secure a new high school for Buckie. I will also campaign for wraparound childcare which would be a game changer for local families and the local economy.

"We are fortunate to live in such an area rich in community engagement and support. In February 2020, I started the Buckie Kindness Group, which was a social media page, encouraging people to share or offer acts of kindness. However, within a matter of weeks, we were facing one of the biggest challenges of recent times – the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Thinking proactively, I led the kindness group into becoming the Covid-19 response for Buckie, with a focus on anticipating and responding to the needs of people in the local community. Thanks to the efforts of an incredible team of volunteers, local groups and organisations, we were able to play our part in keeping people safe and supporting them through a very tough time.

"Now we find ourselves in another challenging set of circumstances with the cost-of-living crisis and the completely reckless response we’ve seen from the Tory government which has caused our economy to fall through the floor. The impact on people in Buckie will be devastating and supporting our community through this crisis will be my number one priority.

’Notwithstanding the cost-of-living crisis, there are real opportunities to make Buckie a better place to live and work. I will work hard to make sure Buckie’s voice is heard – this is what people in our communities deserve and I hope they will put their trust in me on polling day."

Endorsing Mr Stuart's bid for the seat was Banffshire and Buchan SNP MSP Karen Adam.

She commented: "John's name was one of the first mentioned to me in terms of community activism when I first embarked upon my campaign during the Scottish Parliament election last year.

"I went to meet John and have been blown away by the sheer scale of his community work.

"From the Buckie Kindness Group, which supported some of the most vulnerable people during lockdown, to the Baltic Buckie Dookerz who go wild swimming, John has been involved in it all by bringing people together and supporting the health and wellbeing of residents throughout the community.

"John doesn't seek recognition for any of his efforts, he's often behind the scenes working extremely hard ensuring other people around him are being recognised for their positive contributions. John's community work, his caring spirit and humility are traits that we need more than ever in our elected representatives, as I know first-hand of the hardships that so many of my constituents in Buckie are going through.

"I know John is going to be an incredible representative for his community, giving support and advocating for them on Moray Council. John has my full backing because I want to make sure my constituents in Buckie get the local representation they so deserve.

"On Thursday November 3, please vote John Stuart #1."

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