Election17: Time for Change – Theresa Coull, Keith & Cullen

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 Theresa Coull, SNP candidate for Keith and Cullen.

VOTING IN THE LOCAL COUNCIL Elections is, and should be, very important to the people living in Moray.

Decisions that affect our community and every one of us personally are taken at a Council level, for instance, schools, sport and leisure, housing, planning, communities, children and young people, economic development, elderly, health & social care and finance just to name a few.

All of these subjects are decided by your Local Councillors. So, it is doubly important that you have the right representation and a voice to speak up for you and your community. I, along with the SNP candidate team, is that voice.

The last 10 years, I feel, have been really frustrating for the SNP Councillors. They have had to watch the Independent Councillors join together with the Tories to vote down any suggestions made by the opposing SNP Councillors.

This was not for the good of our communities – it was politically personal. Independents did not, and will not, vote individually as you would expect them to do, they voted as a group along with the Tories, so they effectively are a political Independent Party. Independents do not have a manifesto which means they have a free reign in what they decide, not what the electorate wants. They will do this again because a single individual Independent cannot get policies through on their own.

I, along with the SNP Candidates, think it is time for change in Moray. We all have a positive outlook knowing our communities have a lot to offer and we want to help promote this, but, to do this we need to have an SNP led Council.

The SNP candidates have a manifesto which provides information for the voters in advance of what we will do for them at a local level and for Moray as a whole. The manifesto was launched this week and I, along with the other SNP candidates, propose to make Moray and our communities Healthier, Smarter, Wealthier, Safer, Fairer, Greener, Empowered and Creative.

These are the headings in our manifesto and more details can be found under each heading in our manifesto document. We also want to review senior staffing structures, engage more with council staff and encourage staff to talk to us and for them to feel they can approach us with ease. This has been lacking with the previous administration.

We are all very lucky to be living in a lovely part of Scotland and we as an SNP team want to keep it that way but we also want to make it better and fairer for those who are less fortunate. I think we need to make more of tourism to promote and encourage people to holiday in this area which in turn will boost our economy.

Housing is always a problem, there never seems to be enough houses, but we have re-affirmed our commitment to social and affordable housing. We understand that transport for rural villages and communities is difficult, it is sparse or non-existent, but we are going to explore a Council run bus company to provide a bus service throughout Moray.

There is lots to do for Keith and Cullen but it is achievable with a strong SNP led Council. Iain and I live locally and we want to stand as a team for Keith and Cullen as two voices are better than one. We both have the energy and enthusiasm to fight for the Keith and Cullen ward and the people who live here.

Also contesting the Keith and Cullen ward are Rob Barsby (Independent), Iain Grieve (SNP), Donald Gatt (Scottish Conservative and Unionist) and Ron Shepherd (Independent).