Election date set as family of tragic Buckie councillor face funeral delay

Councillor Joe Mackay – post-mortem delays funeral arrangements

The funeral of a veteran Buckie councillor who died in tragic circumstances earlier this month has been delayed as police continue enquiries into the circumstances of his death.

86-year-old Joe Mackay died when he was run down by his own mobility scooter when showing the new machine to his daughter Margaret. It is understood that Mr Mackay accidentally opened the throttle on the scooter and it lurched forward, knocking him down.

A post mortem has been requested by Police, meaning that it could be several weeks before Mr Mackay’s family can hold a service.

Now Moray Council has said they must go ahead with arrangements for a by-election to replace the popular councillor as they are required by law to fill the vacancy within 35 days.

Election returning officer Mark Palmer confirmed that arrangements were going ahead and that Mr Mackay’s family had been consulted.

Mr Palmer said: “Our thoughts are with Joe’s family and we are very aware that they have not yet been able to finalise arrangements for the funeral service.

“Unfortunately strict timescales governed by law must be observed in regard to elections, and we have to start the election process now to comply.”

Mr Palmer said that he was grateful to Mr Mackay’s family for their understanding of the position, adding: “We were all saddened by Councillor Mackay’s sudden death, he was well liked and respected by staff at the council.”

Candidate nominations will now open early next month with a polling date set for Thursday, March 26. The count will be held at the Fisherman’s Hall in Buckie the following day.

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