Council battle is hotting up as several show their hand

John Cowe will defend his Heldon & Laich seat.

LESS THAN 24 hours before the nomination deadline for the 2017 local council elections in Moray several more well known and new candidates have revealed they will run.

The four council seats in the Heldon & Laich ward will be very keenly contested, with one of the leading Independent councillors representing the ward, John Cowe, confirming to insideMoray this evening that he does intend to stand again.

“These last four years have been difficult for us all in Moray as we have had to grapple with the issues of maintaining services against falling revenues,” Councillor Cowe said, adding: “I believe that under the circumstances we have achieved the best outcomes that could be achieved.

“I have fought hard to represent both my ward and wider Moray – and in deciding if to continue or not the overriding factor was a wish to do more, a lot more. We are facing difficult times ahead in this next council, there will be many new faces but all will know that the challenges we face are difficult.

“I am absolutely determined to represent Heldon and Laich to the best of my abilities and to help steer Moray through the next four years.”

Councillor Cowe looks set to be joined in contesting Heldon & Laich with Dennis Slater, who insideMoray understands is also preparing to take to the campaign trail once again.

Amy Patience with Richard Lochhead MSP

Meanwhile the SNP have today also revealed their candidate for the ward. She will be Hopeman-based Amy Patience, who was born in Inverness but spent much of her childhood in Forres. She currently lives in Hopeman with her daughter Eve, who attends Hopeman Primary School.

Of her selection Amy said: “It is a real honour to be standing for election to Moray Council for the Heldon and Laich Ward.

“It is the area of Moray that I have chosen to make my home and bring up my daughter and I want to make a difference for her and for people right across the ward – from Lossiemouth to Burghead and Hopeman to Mosstowie.

“The services provided by the Council from education, to social care, to waste collection and roads maintenance affect us all and I want to help ensure that our communities in Heldon & Laich have a strong voice in Moray Council.

“I believe I can be that strong voice and that is why I am asking for the support of the voters in Heldon & Laich.”

Moray Labour are also expected to announce a candidate in the ward joining Tory James Allan, Green James MacKessack-Leitch, Lib Dem John Mitchell and Independent Ryan Edwards.