Inverness elects its new councillors
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From thumping wins to the rise of the Greens the Inverness area has chosen its representatives at Highland Council for the next five years.
The pivotal vote elected 22 members from seven wards that span areas from Fort Augustus at the southern tip of the world famous Loch Ness to Ardersier on the Moray Firth, now site of one of the most ambitious industrial projects in the UK.
From a party political perspective the SNP now have eight councillors in the city area, the Liberal Democrats have five, the Conservatives and the Independents both have three and Greens and Labour have two each.
Both the LibDems and the Greens enjoyed a surge in support but it was the latter which made the most sizeable gain locally as the first two councillors ever elected as Greens will soon take up their seats.
The SNP also turned in a significant electoral performance as the party won two of the three seats in the Inverness Central ward when Michael Cameron and Kate Maclean were elected alongside veteran Labour Councillor Bet McAllister.
Inverness South saw two new but experienced councillors voted-in – Tory Andrew Sinclair and the LibDems Colin Aitken. Both had represented different wards last term. Cllr Sinclair held the Wick and East Caithness seat and Cllr Aitken Inverness West.
Elsewhere Inverness and area voters proved loyal by sticking with those that they know, as in Aird and Loch Ness David Fraser and Emma Knox were both re-elected while Bill Boyd and Alex Graham were returned for Inverness West.
They were not alone as Inverness Ness-side wanted Alasdair Christie back; Inverness Millburn Ian Brown and Isabelle Mackenzie; and Culloden and Ardersier returned Glynis Campbell-Sinclair and Trish Robertson.
Finally, in Inverness South, Ken Gowans scored perhaps the biggest win of the whole election with a vote of 1949, while ward colleague Duncan Macpherson established a huge support base with 1375.
Now the new councillors are in place, one of the key considerations is how they will impact the all-powerful Inverness area committee which has so much financial power to influence the area and determine where investment is spent.
Related article: All the winners from last week's election