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Highland councillor Maxine Smith faces court trial over fake disabled parking blue badge charge

By Ali Morrison

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The Inverness Justice Centre.
The Inverness Justice Centre.

A Highland councillor is to stand trial next year accused of faking disabled parking blue badges so drivers of tour buses owned by her could use the restricted spaces.

Maxine Smith (64), of Calrichie Cottages, Invergordon who represents Cromarty Ward 6 on The Highland Council, was a former SNP councillor.

She resigned from the party group in 2020 and is now a member of the Highland Alliance.

According to Companies House, she is also a director of Thistle Excursions, which offers bus tours around the Highlands to cruise ship passengers disembarking at the port of Invergordon.

Smith did not appear at Inverness Sheriff Court but was represented by solicitor Willie Young.

He tendered a plea of not guilty on her behalf and Sheriff Sara Matheson fixed a trial date for May 20.

An intermediate diet to establish both prosecution and defence readiness for trial was also set for April 23.

The charge against the councillor states that on April 3, 2019 and November 30, 2022 at Outram Street, Invergordon, she uttered as genuine to employees of The Highland Council, a blue badge which had been altered without the authority of the local authority.

It also alleges that a previous badge had been photocopied and laminated and the badges were left on display without her being present, allowing the drivers of tour buses owned by her to obtain use of restricted parking.

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