As you’ll know, I wasn’t successful in my attempt to be elected to represent the people and communities of West Garioch. I’m immensely proud of my campaign, which focused on the local issues that those elected today will now be taking decisions on.
It was always going to be difficult as a candidate for a party referred to so often – even today as greens were winning council seats all over the UK – as “others”, against five candidates from parties afforded so much air time. I am obviously, however, disappointed that my effort – around 6000 leaflets through the doors of this wide rural ward and dozens of conversations on doorsteps – didn’t result in more votes, but it is clear that people were more concerned with national issues in this election. If the campaign started again tomorrow, I wouldn’t change my approach as I firmly believe that if I am seeking election to Council, I should make it clear to voters what I would do as a Councillor.
Of course, none of this would have been possible without the invaluable help of so many people. In no particular order, I offer my heartfelt thanks to Martin Ford, Paul Johnston (both thankfully re-elected), Paul Openshaw, Alice Cleland, Vicki Burrows, Bob Gordon, Kyle Anderson, Daniel Smith, Rachel Shanks and my agent, Anne Mansfield, who has had to contend with far more important things during this campaign. Thanks also to the many residents of West Garioch who have been so supportive, regardless of political alignment.
My biggest debt of gratitude lies with Sandie Cleland. Since the start of the year it feels like every moment that I haven’t been at work or looking after Angus, I’ve been engaged in this campaign. Sandie has taken on even more parenting duties than normal during my absence of body and/or mind but has still supported and encouraged me every step of the way.
I will continue to stand up for my community and to scrutinise and hold the Council to account. I congratulate those elected to represent West Garioch today – along the other two unsuccessful candidates. Now they, along with every other Councillor in Aberdeenshire, must ensure that services are maintained and the needs of communities met.
Finally, I’m looking forward to spending a bit more time with this little guy…..