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14 councillors standing down

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By Marc Mclean, Local Democracy Reporter
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14 councillors standing down

ONE third of the councillors who have served Dumfries and Galloway communities over the last five years will not be standing for re-election.

Fourteen of the region’s 43 elected members – who have a collective 162 years of service – have confirmed that they will be standing down.

Broken down by council ward, those councillors are:

Abbey – Rob Davidson (SNP); Annandale North – Adam Wilson (Labour); Annandale South – Henry McClelland; Castle Douglas and Crocketford – David James (Independent); Dee and Glenkens – Jane Maitland (Independent); Lochar – John Charteris (Conservatives), Jeff Leaver (Labour); Mid and Upper Nithsdale – Matthew Ronnie (Conservatives); Mid Galloway and Wigtown West – Jim McColm (Independent); Nith – John Martin (Labour), Elaine Murray (Labour); North West Dumfries – David McKie (Labour), Ronnie Nicholson (Labour); Stranraer and the Rhins – Ros Surtees (SNP).

Outgoing council leader Elaine Murray announced last month that she would not be seeking re-election and was looking forward to spending more time with her grandchildren.

Speaking at the last council meeting of this term, she said: “The new council will be elected in a few weeks and although we can only guess, or sometimes hope, for the results, we do know that 14 currently serving councillors are not standing for re-election.

“Between them, these councillors have a noteworthy 162 years of service.

“Councillor McKie has served for 27 years, Councillor Maitland for 23, Councillor Nicholson for 17, councillors Davidson, Leaver and Martin for 15, Councillors Charteris and McColm for ten, and Councillors Wilson, James, McClelland, Ronnie, Surtees, and me for five.

“I thank them all for their service to Dumfries and Galloway, doing their terms of office, and wish them well in whatever they wish to pursue next. Thanks and good luck to those members seeking re-election. Thanks to all members for their contribution to our council during what was a fairly eventful period.

“Thanks too to all the officers and staff who have supported us over the last five years.”

Longest-serving Councillor David McKie, with nearly three decades of service to the community, replied: “Thanks very much for those words Elaine, but given the length of time I’ve been here I’m sure a lot of people will have said, ‘I wish to hell he hudnae stood!’.

“But I’d like to just register my thanks to the staff that I’ve met over the years. They’re great staff and they work hard.

“The last two years have been very unfortunate, but the staff have knuckled down and done a tremendous job – and they still are.”

Interim chief executive Derek Crichton said: “It’s been a busy time. We’ve seen the introduction of Borderlands, the establishment of South of Scotland Enterprise, and we’ve also had external national recognition for our work supporting communities.

“And there was the significant matter of dealing with a world pandemic.

“Can I thank all members on behalf of staff for your commitment to our health and wellbeing.”

 

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