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By-election to replace Inverness Depute Provost councillor Graham Ross to take place in August

By John Davidson

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Councillor Graham Ross was Depute Provost of Inverness. Picture: Gary Anthony
Councillor Graham Ross was Depute Provost of Inverness. Picture: Gary Anthony

A by-election to replace a departing Inverness councillor will take place in tandem with a similar poll in Caithness in August.

Highland Council says running the votes simultaneously will save money.

The preparations for the two by-elections follows the resignation of Inverness West councillor Graham Ross and Councillor Nicola Sinclair, who represents Wick and East Caithness.

Ms Sinclair is stepping down to take up a new role as a reporter with a regional daily newspaper, while Mr Ross has stepped down for family reasons.

The Returning Officer, chief executive of Highland Council Donna Manson, has confirmed that the poll to elect a councillor to represent both Ward 3 (Wick and East Caithness) and Ward 13 (Inverness West) will be held on Thursday, August 12.

The formal notices of election for both by-elections will be published on Thursday, July 1.

Councillor Nicola Sinclair is quitting the council. Picture: DGS
Councillor Nicola Sinclair is quitting the council. Picture: DGS

The council says it costs around £45,000 to run a by-election but that by using one venue for both electronic counts, and holding the by-elections on the same day, the council can achieve significant savings. Therefore, both counts, which will be done electronically, will be held in Inverness Leisure the day after polling, Friday, August 13.

As with the recent Scottish parliamentary election, the council will be complying with all Covid-19 social distancing requirements and extra safety measures will be in place at all polling stations and at the count. Although some schools will be used as polling stations, there will be no impact to the education of children as the new school year starts the following week on Monday, August 16.

Over-16s within the wards will be able to vote in this election and, if registered, voters will also have the option to vote by post using a postal vote.

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