PROSPECTIVE councilors from Elgin City South presented their case for the election.
Six candidates will compete in the district, three of which will be elected by the public in local elections on Thursday, May 5.
Two of them – John Divers from Labour, and Graham Leadbitter from the SNP – are standing for re-election.
The new candidates are Peter Bloomfield (Conservative); Bernard Salmon (Liberal Democrat); Michaela French (Independent) and Paul Briggs (Independent).
Michaela French – Independent
I don’t stand on party politics, there’s another time and place for that.
I believe that local authorities should focus on the community they serve, not on their own personal political beliefs.
I defend responsibility, honesty and openness, listening, action and problem solving.
Your concerns and needs are what Moray Council is here for, it’s meant to be an interactive partnership, not party politics.
I believe Moray Council needs to be more responsible and accountable to the community; help me make this happen.
I now work as a local Avon Lady and in a past life I held the position of Hotel General Manager.
Paul Briggs – Independent
My family and I live in Elgin South, and I really enjoy supporting local community projects and valuing the people in our community.
When Covid and the lockdown happened I was put on leave and decided to help people who needed support, IE, getting prescriptions, shopping etc.
Some people have asked if I’ve ever considered running for council, I’ve thought about that, but when I was working in Antarctica for four months I really thought about our area and what our councilors mainly do (Labour and SNP). D
o have you ever seen them involved in the community unless it’s time to vote, and they’ve been there for decades and what has been achieved? Nothing succeeds!
Conservative has never been seen, and the new candidate is from Lossiemouth, not particularly involved in the area. A lot of people in the community are tired of votes being taken for granted, so a vote for Paul Briggs will be one to begin change and move things forward together.
Bernard Salmon – Liberal Democrat
If elected to Moray Council, I will seek to support local businesses by supporting much needed improvements to transport links and infrastructure.
The council is also expected to work alongside partners such as Moray College UHI to develop people’s skills to ensure everyone has access to good quality, well-paying jobs in the area.
The council can also do more to tackle issues related to climate change. We need better home insulation and more investment in things like solar panels and electric vehicle charging stations.
We must also continue to invest in the people of Moray. Having been an unpaid carer and charity volunteer, I know the vast contribution made by carers, volunteers and community groups in Moray and we need to think about what additional support we can provide. We must also use the Moray Growth Deal to invest in our educational, cultural and sporting facilities.
John Divers – Work
For 23 years I have worked hard to represent the interests of the residents of Elgin City South. People know my values and what I stand for.
As Moray’s most senior councilor, I’ve seen many ups and downs, and the past few years have undoubtedly been a low for most of us.
As a former Navy man, however, I believe that local representatives with a hard work ethic and a duty of public service can make a real difference to our community.
Local representation isn’t just about fixing potholes and streetlights — councilors need to be fighters for their neighborhoods.
During my first term as councilor, I fought for a flood mitigation plan for Elgin, and have been fighting ever since: for a bypass for Elgin; or to save RAF Lossiemouth; or for millions of pounds of investment in our town centre. I’m running again because I want to keep fighting on behalf of Elgin.
Peter Bloomfield – Curator
My name is Peter Bloomfield and I am your local Conservative candidate for Elgin City South.
Representing our region on the Moray Council is serious work. This means tackling council finances. This means ensuring Council Tax payers get their money’s worth.
This means ensuring effective representation for the people of the parish. Every vote will count in this election, and your vote may well decide whether or not I am elected to serve as Moray’s councilor.
Downtown illegal parking issues in and around Batchen Street, potholes in the roads that are undergoing temporary repairs that only last a few days, schools in particular I understand that the quality of school meals are issues that need to be addressed, which is why I am running for council.
Councilors are there to represent you and if elected, I will never forget that.
Graham Leadbitter – SNP
I am privileged to have represented Elgin South as a councilor for 15 years and it has been a particular honor to have served as head of council since 2018.
I am running because I have the energy, commitment and track record of effectively representing Elgin South on Moray Council. I also used to represent Moray strongly, nationally, to organizations and governments in Edinburgh and London.
Whether it’s a local issue or advocating for increased funding and building positive relationships with others, I am committed to doing my best for Elgin and Moray.
Over the next few months, we will need to focus on supporting those struggling with the cost of living due to rising food and energy bills, and reviving local economies like downtown Elgin. after a difficult period.
I like challenges and I am not afraid of problems because they are difficult.