Election17: Education and Community: Derek Ross, Speyside/Glenlivet

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 Derek Ross, Independent candidate for Speyside Glenlivet.

I HAVE LIVED in Speyside Glenlivet for almost 40 years and am acutely aware of the challenges that we, in rural communities, face.

I am a 61-year-old recently retired teacher and, my wife, Marion is also a retired teacher. Our son was educated at Speyside High School and Aberdeen University.

For over five years I was a member of a group campaigned to keep Brown Muir Hill windfarm free.

This campaign, involving many people in Moray, generated over 1200 local objections to the development. The planning application was subsequently refused by the Scottish Government.

The success of this campaign and my involvement with the local community has motivated me to stand for election and represent all the residents of Speyside Glenlivet.

As a member of the Educational Institute of Scotland I am actively involved in Education and Equality issues and I am also a founder member of Grampian Regional Equality Council.

I will be a local voice who will work for you, and with you, on the issues of:

• More social housing
• Real access to free personal care for the elderly and vulnerable
• Retaining rural schools and libraries
• De-centralisation of Police, Ambulance and Fire Services
• Transport and connectivity – rural bus services
• Tourism
• Rural broadband
• Fairer commercial business rates
• Litter
• Real devolution of powers and monies from central government to Moray and all local authorities.

I believe that there is no place for party politics at local level. Councillors should give service to their communities and neither enact party diktat nor indulge in block voting.

The new Council should be pragmatic and caste aside party politics and work together to achieve the best deal for Moray and its people.

Also contesting the Speyside Glenlivet ward is: Angus Anderson (SNP), Louise Laing (SNP) and Walter Wilson (Scottish Conservative and Unionist).