By-election: Meeting the candidates

Ballot box.
Ballot box.

The by-election for Taobh Siar Agus Nis council ward will take place on October 7, with three candidates hoping to represent their community.

Gavin Humphreys

I am with the Green Party and believe our long term survival depends on us all becoming greener. I’m excited to give West Side and Ness a chance to vote for a secure Green future.

On and off I have lived in the area since 2011, but my mother is from Shawbost, so the area was always part of my life.

Young people leaving the area is one of my main concerns. Let’s promote a diverse, sustainable economy, to give them opportunity. We have to strengthen what we have and think outside the box. I want support for new crofters and for crofters who want to diversify.

Money from energy schemes should return to communities to help create jobs. Fast internet is highly important for local employment.

Consider our increasingly erratic weather, which has brought us poor crops. As climate change continues, we enter new territory.We need more research and highly weather-proofed housing. A crofting fund should be set up to put money aside for ‘the years of famine’.

I am 33 and a television editor. I’m a graduate of the University of Aberdeen and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. I have worked in teaching, farming, and as distillery tour-guide.

It’s important that we maintain momentum from the independence referendum. We want change and the Greens offer the strongest vision.

We don’t believe in the centralisation occurring across the UK and will give more power to communities like Taobh Siar agus Nis. A vote for me and the Green Party will give these isles a reinvigorated voice.

Richard Froggatt

I am an Independent candidate which means I am not beholden to party politics. Our multi-party political system works adequately nationally, but it doesn’t always address local issues.

My only interest is with our communities. As an independent councillor I wouldn’t take instructions from a central office and won’t follow a party line. Not that I am opposed to party politics, far from it. But I feel that I can best represent our communities as an independent councillor.

My family and I were struck by the culture and outstanding natural beauty of Lewis. Like many other incomers, we wanted to escape the congestion and stress of the city. We moved to South Bragar from the East Midlands nine years ago, made Lewis our home, and intend to remain here for life.

Trust in representatives is a concern. Residents have told me they have little respect for the council. I believe in equality. We need more resources for support services and carers.

I will work with all groups to improve services and will also seek to ensure the council’s complaints procedure is properly implemented.

I am a carer for our daughter, Alys, who has severe and complex disabilities, requiring significant support from my wife and I, and the council and NHS. I was an Investigation Officer for HM Customs & Excise and I’m a police trained surveillance and pursuit driver.

Vote for a champion with first hand experience of fighting against adverse council strategies for welfare and support. Vote Richard Froggatt.

John Norman Macleod

I decided to run for election because I have a very strong interest in the community and community organisations. I’d like to see progress and improvement within our ward and hope to be able to contribute towards this with my time and effort.

Anyone who knows me would agree that I give 100 percent effort with everything I’m involved in.

I am 46 years old, married with one son, live in Barvas, and currently work subsea. For over 20 years I have been involved with the committee that organises the Westside Agricultural Show and I’m now its President. I’ve also been on the committee of Westside Football and Recreational Club for 28 years, having been chairman for the past 15. Other committees include nine years with Lower Barvas Grazings committee and Western Grazings committee.

I’ve been committee chairman for Western Thistle Junior football for ten years. For the past 17 years I’ve been a local rep for the Westside Funeral Association. I was also a youth club leader for about seven years.

My professional background is in 17 years working for an Engineering Technician in the roads division. I spent eight years working in the oil and gas industry, and also in renewables. I have a croft with small herd of cattle and small flock of sheep.

Here is what I would like to see happening in the ward of Taobh Siar Agus Nis: an old folks’ home within our area, a local special needs unit, and improvements to our infrastructure, such as roads etc.