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New Inverness South councillor says ‘openness and honesty’ is at the heart of why he wanted to stand

By Scott Maclennan

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Inverness South Independent Councillor Duncan McDonald.
Inverness South Independent Councillor Duncan McDonald.

The newly elected councillor of the Inverness South ward – Duncan McDonald – said that “openness and honesty” are at the heart of his approach when he takes up his seat with Highland Council.

Having spent 34 years in the army, Cllr McDonald will now join ward colleagues Ken Gowans (SNP), Duncan Macpherson (Highland Alliance) and Andrew Sinclair (Conservatives) representing Ward 19 at the council.

The by-election was called after Colin Aitken resigned back in February. Asked what his first reaction to winning the by-election was he said: “You're in it to win it but when you do it is a pleasant surprise.

Inverness South elects Independent candidate Duncan McDonald to replace Colin Aitken

Inverness South Liberal Democrat Councillor Colin Aitken resigns from Highland Council

“I've always been interested in Inverness as a community – it is where I was born, I was in the army for 34 years but I'm a local. Duncan Macpherson was very helpful, he's an independent councillor and he helped me in a lot of ways through the campaign.

“I have not given any consideration to what group I may join, right now I want to get my feet under the table before I make any decisions. There's a lot of people in this chamber and I want to speak to a lot of people before I do anything.

He added: “But foremost, I am an independent candidate – that's what I campaigned on and that's what I will remain.”

When asked what issues he wants to tackle and what drew him to politics, Cllr McDonald said it is as much about how he goes about the job as what he plans to do, saying: “Openness and honesty – that's what I'm really after.

“You know, if you tell people the truth, let them make their minds up. We represent them and openness and honesty will allow people to make an informed decision.

“There's a whole raft of things that cumulatively bring it together and I'll always go back to that openness and honesty – just be open with people if there's decisions being made. Let them know why you've made that decision.

“I think sometimes It's a bit of a mystery to the public how we, the council, have come to decisions, probably in all good faith, but I don't think that message gets out there about how or why.”

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