Election17: Compassion – Shona Morrison, Fochabers/Lhanbryde

All individual candidates or political groups contesting the forthcoming local council elections in Moray are invited to state their case through the pages of our community news site – contact for submissions is editor@insidemoray.news. Here we have views of Shona Morrison, SNP candidate for Fochabers/Lhanbryde.

SIXTEEN YEARS AGO my husband and I made the decision to make Moray our home.

At that time we were fortunate to have a choice in where to settle and raise a family. When making this decision, many factors were important to us.

Affordable housing, quality education facilities for the family we hoped to raise, a low crime rate, a strong sense of community and civic pride, a robust economy and access to the outdoors with all the opportunities for a wholesome life this affords. Moray and the Fochabers area offered us the complete package and so much more.

These are the things that still energise and enthuse me sixteen years on. It is a desire to help maintain and improve these qualities found in our local area that has led me to stand in Fochabers / Lhanbryde as your SNP candidate.

The opportunity to stand is not something I have embarked upon lightly. It is largely attributed to the support of those in our community who I want to help and a conviction to ensure your voices are heard within the council’s decision making processes. I simply want the best for my community and am prepared to put myself forward to that end.

My early career started in the NHS as a Mental Health Nurse in acute care, progressing to the position of Community Psychiatric Nurse serving the needs of some of the most vulnerable members of our communities. Compassion and empathy are paramount in this type of work, along with an ability to listen and understand the needs of others. I believe these are valuable qualities which I possess and will bring to the role of Councillor if I am fortunate enough to be elected.

I have always striven to be involved in the grassroots of local community life, serving on the local hall committee at Spey Bay, as Chair of the Parent Council at Milne’s Primary School (where both my daughters were enrolled) and as leader of 2nd Fochabers Brownies group.

My experiences in all of these roles has provided me with an invaluable insight into the intricacies, fragilities and demands placed on our cherished community resources and educational facilities. I am passionate about protecting and improving these resources and believe they are bedrock on which community life is built.

The current crisis in attracting teaching staff to our Moray schools is something I am particularly keen to see alleviated. Much has been done to tackle the issue, but we are still struggling to fill many vacant positions. If elected, I will look forward to involvement with the various initiatives being proposed and lending my support to such an important issue.

This election heralds a new chapter for Moray council. We have so many new candidates standing for the first time and with so many of the previous administration standing down, voters have a real choice in which direction they wish their council to take.

I believe in an inclusive approach to problem solving and believe the best results are delivered when people can find the common ground to build upon. Of course, this is not to say there is no place for healthy debate, argument and disagreement – it is a necessity.

However, it is all too easy to allow these differences to define us, waste much of our energy and distract us from the real task in hand. This can only lead to weak decision making, delivering less than the best for our communities and short changing us all.

I look forward to the remaining weeks of the campaign before our May 4th deadline. It has been a genuine privilege to engage directly with so many different members of the community through this process. It is my sincere hope that whatever the result on the day, we get an administration which will work tirelessly to fight for the diverse needs of all in Moray.

Please vote 1 and 2 for the SNP and change the tune in Moray Council.

Also contesting the Fochabers/Lhanbryde ward are: David Bremner (SNP), Donald Cameron (Scottish Lib Dem), Kenneth Gillespie (Independent), Peter Horton (Scottish Lib Dem), Marc Macrae (Scottish Conservative and Unionist, Sean Morton, Ian Taylor (Independent).