TWO FORMER SERVICEMEN have added their names to those wishing to seek election to the Moray Council in May.
A former RAF airman has been selected by the Moray Conservative party to contest the Keith and Cullen ward in the forthcoming council elections – joining a former Royal Navy man in the names confirmed yesterday.
On the eve of nominations closing for the polls, the Moray Conservatives have put Donald Gatt in line the new Council – in his case for the Keith and Cullen ward that will see two senior members of the current Council quit their places, Council Leader Stewart Cree and SNP Group leader Gary Coull.
The Moray Labour party have also revealed their candidates for Elgin City South and Elgin City North, including veteran councillor John Divers.
Donald Gatt served in the RAF for twenty-four years and has since worked in the local food processing industry for a leading short bread manufacturer as well as at Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin. He currently works as a civil servant at RAF Lossiemouth.
Mr Gatt said of his selection: “It’s a privilege to be selected for the Scottish Conservatives and I hope that my previous experience in the RAF and Civil Service will stand me in good stead should I be elected.
“Keith and Cullen is a large ward with over 8000 electors. As well as the two main towns the ward includes Portknockie and an extensive rural area which stretches as far east as Rothiemay. I look forward to meeting as many people as possible in all parts of the ward during the campaign.
“First and foremost a councillor must serve the interests of his constituents and I will strive to do this if elected.”
Mr Gatt’s selection concludes the Tory candidates contesting this election.
Labour contesting Elgin
Moray Labour Group Leader John Divers, meanwhile, will seek a fifth term representing Elgin City South.
Councillor Divers, a Royal Navy veteran, has represented workers at Arderseir, as well as working as a youth worker.
Revealing that he would run for a fifth terms in Elgin, he said: “Serving the people of Elgin South for so many years has been hard work – but I’ve always tried my best to make a difference. I promise I plan to keep doing what I’ve always done – working hard for all of the people of Elgin South, without partisanship, but with Labour values at my core.
“While the SNP and Tories will be campaigning on abstract constitutional matters, we’ll be standing on the issues that matter to voters: opportunities for young people; protecting the vulnerable; and growing the local economy.”
Moray Labour have also named Nick Taylor as their candidate for Elgin City North. Mr Taylor is a lecturer at Moray College UHI and graduate of the prestigious London School of Economics.
He said: “While Labour councillors have always been a minority in Moray, they have shown what effective opposition to the Tory/Independent administration can do.
“I hope to continue the work of my Labour predecessors by fighting for better investment in local services, while opposing cuts handed down from the SNP in Holyrood and endorsed by the Tories in Moray.
“As a lecturer at Moray College I see first-hand the damage that lack of investment in schools and skills can do. As a councillor, education and training will be my top priority, ensuring that everyone in Moray, young or old, has the chance to develop the skills they need.”