Moray community councils rising to the challenge

A host of new faces will seek to make a difference to their communities following the widest-ever elections for community councils Moray has ever experienced.

It is believed by many that budget cuts to several key community services, in particular libraries, was one of the sparks behind a much higher number of candidates to serve on several community councils.

That sparked elections for the first time for the first representative tier in Lossiemouth, Burghead & Cummingston, Buckie and District and the Findhorn and Kinloss.

Prominent members from the ‘Save our Libraries Moray’ campaign group won seats on several community councils and feature high among the many new faces that will now serve their local communities.

There was also a high electorate interest with voting numbers over the communities reaching over 35% and one district seeing a turnout of over 50%.

Moray’s electoral returning officer, Mark Palmer, commented that the turnout reflected an increasing appetite for people to become more involved in their communities.  He said: “I am delighted with the turnout and hope this indicates to others that might wish to stand in the future that there is a significant interest within communities in who represents them at a local level.

“Community councils are a vital touchstone for Moray Council on a whole host of issues and their input is a significant part of the democratic process.”

Amongst the newly elected community councillors is Carolle Ralph, who was returned in Lossiemouth with the highest total polled by any candidate throughout Moray.

Mrs Ralph, a former chair of the Lossiemouth Community Council before serving as a councillor at Moray Council, said: “I am pleased to be fit enough to get involved again and delighted to have some very good hard working chums also voted on today.

“People know that we will be there to listen to them and to represent them – and to do our best at all times for this town and the people in it.”

Included in the successful candidates in Burghead and Cummingston are two leading members of the group who has been fighting hard to save their local library, Dr Joan Megson and Kelly Croudace.

Dr Megson said: “It’s a big responsibility. I shall do my best and I have some ideas already.  More importantly I need local ideas, concerns and visions for the future.  And first stop for many of us is to try to save our Library!”

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