ELGIN City North is a six-horse race, with just three heats to earn seats in Moray’s Council Chamber at the finish line.
A former senior labor adviser is proposing a return to local government, while a former senior education official will seek to start a new role on the other side of the chamber.
The other four candidates seek to obtain a seat on the first request.
Here, in their own words, we introduce the candidates:
Neil Alexander – Scottish Liberal Democrats
My name is Neil, I’m 27 and I was raised to believe in freedom, fairness and equality for all – three values that are in our LibDem constitution, and that you can’t find with no other party.
I will favor local services; this election is not about your views on independence. There’s a reason LibDem Councilors, when elected, stay elected – we deliver for our communities.
I play rugby locally for Moray RFC, this is my home and I bled for it.
If I have the chance to represent you, I will propose increased funding for local community groups, giving all residents more things to do in the Elgin area.
I will also feature new programs that work with local businesses to give our youth more reasons to shop locally.
I will put Elgin first and spend no time defending corruption at the top of Scottish and British politics.
Amber Dunbar – Scottish Conservatives
I was born and raised in Elgin and it really is my favorite place in the world. I grew up in a family that owned small local hotel businesses – Enrico’s and The Lido Café – and met so many local people.
As I got older I saw how the community was affected by centralization by the Scottish SNP government, like going all the way to Aberdeen for what should be routine healthcare. I think that is unacceptable.
I want to spend my time campaigning and making improvements in the community, as well as helping people on an individual level.
Throughout my campaign, I have already contacted the council and the police on behalf of a number of residents in order to find a solution to the problems.
If any resident of Elgin City North has any concerns to raise, I will be more than happy to help.
Jérémie Fernandes – Scottish National Party
I am delighted to represent the SNP in Elgin City North.
The municipal election on May 5 could not be more important.
The people of Elgin face enormous challenges as we try to recover from the pandemic and deal with the Tory cost of living crisis.
We need compassionate advisors who understand the issues facing local residents and businesses.
I’m running because I want to stand up for our community and protect the services we hold dear – our libraries, our recreation centers and our schools.
The Tories have a history of making deep cuts for ideological reasons rather than trying to work with others for the good of the people of Moray.
The SNP got the Council’s finances back on track and worked hard to protect local services.
I want to continue this good work and commit to being a strong voice for the people of Elgin.
Rebecca Kail – Scottish Green Party
I’m running because I want the people of Elgin City North to have the opportunity to vote green. I would like to be a voice for those who care about the planet and people, and want the action to start at our doorstep.
If elected, I want to ensure that Moray Council works steadily towards its goal of being carbon neutral by 2030. I would put the most vulnerable at the heart of plans, so that all can afford warm homes, good food and reliable public transport and safe streets for walking and cycling.
I will work collaboratively, listening, encouraging, supporting and challenging – keeping
drive change. I will create partnerships with the low carbon expertise that already exists in Moray.
I long for a Moray that meets the needs of all of its residents while ensuring that our children and their children can also meet theirs. I would love to have your support!
Sandy Keith – Scottish Labor Party
Before I left my position as councilor in 2007, residents expected a high level of service from me. I held regular surgeries, wrote to residents often, and knocked on doors to talk to residents as often as possible. Without wishing to disparage my successors, I do not believe that we receive the same level of service from our advisors today. Knowing who your advisor is should be the norm, unlike now.
During my three terms on Moray Council, we have completely transformed education in Moray,
make record investments in schools. This legacy is now neglected – school buildings falling into disrepair. At the same time, grass cutting and cleaning are reduced, trash collections are becoming less frequent, libraries and local facilities are closed, and care in the community is struggling to keep up with demand. . It is clear that the Council needs local representatives ready to denounce these failings.
Graham Jarvis – Independent
I have been fortunate enough to live in Elgin since 1987, having moved from Fife to work at the community centre.
My professional background is in community development and my last job with Moray Council was as Acting Business Manager (Education and Child Care). I have also worked for Education Scotland as an Associate Assessor inspecting education provision across Scotland.
I have been involved with several community organizations including Moray Roadrunners, Glen Moray Choir, Elgin Community Council and Moray Foodplus.
Working and living in the local community puts me in a unique position to represent Elgin City North.
As an independent adviser, I would represent the views of local people and organizations, not party officials elsewhere.
I would work with all other councilors to make a difference and help shape the future of Elgin.
My priorities are: Increase funding for health and social services; Improve the level of education; Improve road safety; Repair the roads; Improve public transport; Full dualing to A96 and A9.