Crichton to stand in Loch a Tuath ward

Keep logged on to our website this afternoon for the full list of candidates standing in the Comhairle elections.

Today (Thursday) Donald Crichton has announced that he will be standing as an independent candidate in the Loch a Tuath ward in the forthcoming council election.

Mr Crichton has family connections with Tong and Back and will be moving to live in Upper Coll (Gearraidh Ghuirm) when he marries this summer.

He said: “I have been encouraged by a number of people to put my name forward for election, and It would be an honour to represent this area that I have so many connections with and that I hope to be a part of. At the very least the people of Loch a Tuath will have an election and a choice that they might not otherwise have had.”

A former Labour candidate for the Western Isles, Mr Crichton said he would be standing as an independent because he believed party politics should be kept out of local government in the islands.

He said: “We are a small community; we know each other and the needs and concerns of our areas. We don’t need a political badge to represent our people at this level of government.”

Mr Crichton said he would be putting forward a positive agenda for Loch a Tuath.

His key pledges include:

A commitment to campaign for the retention of Tong and Tolsta schools and to work closely with all three Parent Councils in the ward.

Monthly ward surgeries, close co-operation with community councils in Tong, Back and Tolsta to make sure their views are heard at Comhairle level.

Support the Tolsta community’s renewable energy project.

Seek urgent funding to repair the damaged roads in the ward

Regular environmental maintenance and improvements

Support Back Football and Creation Club and other community groups with funding bids

Support calls for a freeze in ferry price rises for commercial vehicles that will have a devastating impact on the economy if they are not reversed.

Campaign for the restoration of the Air Discount Scheme for small businesses and oil industry workers.

Explore ways that the Comhairle could use its initiative and resources to tackle the high cost of fuel and reduce fuel poverty in our community Mr Crichton said: “The retention of Tong and Tolsta Schools will be a key commitment from me. They are relatively modern buildings with the current and projected populations to support them. I will also work to protect jobs and services locally, and to devise a way of ensuring local contractors get a fair shot at local government contracts. In a difficult economic climate there will be hard decisions to make but we should protect the most vulnerable in our community. We should ensure that services to assist our senior citizens are protected and enhanced”.

Mr Crichton continued: “I already represent the interests of Loch a Tuath on the Stornoway Trust; supporting Tolsta’s plans for a renewable energy project and opposing the damaging proposal for a fish farm development in Broadbay. I will show the same commitment to the community from the Gleann Dubh to Tolsta Head should I be elected as Councillor.

He concluded: “While I was brought up on the other side of the bay I do have roots in Loch a Tuath and I will be making my permanent home in Upper Coll in June.”