Big names standing down as Angus prepares for council polls

© DC Thomson
Angus Council HQ in Forfar.

Angus Council is heading for a sea change no matter the result of its upcoming elections.

One third of the local authority’s sitting councillors have signalled their intention to step down at the close of the current session.

The most high-profile of these is recently elected SNP MSP for Angus North and Mearns, Mairi Evans, who told The Courier she would continue to serve the wider community in her role.

Brechin and Edzell’s other Nationalist councillor, Jim Houston, also said he is not standing for re-election.

Well-known public figures including Montrose Lib Dem councillor David May, COSLA stalwart and former council leader Rob Murray, and depute council leader Paul Valentine are also standing down.

Four SNP and four non-administration members have also confirmed their intention to step down along with council leader Iain Gaul, who previously said he was “tired” of 80-hour weeks and a 14-year career in local government.

With some Angus burghs now wide open, potential applicants have until 4pm on March 29 to ask for a place at the table.

The council has organised a meeting with all nominated candidates for April 5 to discuss local arrangements for holding the poll.

Ms Evans said: “I won’t be standing for re-election as a councillor in Brechin in May and I wish the new SNP candidates all the very best in the forthcoming election.

“I have really enjoyed working for the community for the past ten years and am continuing to do so as an MSP for Angus North and Mearns.

“This is a community that is close to my heart.

“I’ve grown up in Angus and I understand how the needs of people living in rural Angus and Aberdeenshire differ greatly from those within larger cities.

“Sadly, there have been suggestions that I have been keeping two salaries while performing my dual role as a councillor and MSP since last year.

“However, this is not the case as I’ve been donating my councillor salary to a wide variety of local groups. I will continue to do this until May 4.”

The closing stages of the current council have already brought change.

Following her untimely death, popular Provost Helen Oswald’s Carnoustie seat was won by independent David Cheape.

Meanwhile Bob Spink, the man once hailed the “kingmaker”, stepped down due to ill health.

The SNP administration has been outnumbered 14-15 but there has never been a vote along these lines.

Former Arbroath East and Lunan member Donald Morrison will stand for an Arbroath West, Letham and Friockheim seat due to boundary changes in the latter village and Colliston.

Current councillors standing again, by burgh:

Arbroath East and Lunan

Sheena Welsh (SNP) YES

Martyn Geddes (Conservative) NO

Brenda Durno (SNP) YES

 

Arbroath West, Letham and Friockheim

Donald Morrison (SNP) YES

David Fairweather (independent) YES

Alex King (SNP) YES

David Lumgair (Conservative) YES

Ewan Smith (independent) NO

 

Brechin and Edzell

Mairi Evans (SNP) NO

Jim Houston (SNP) NO

Bob Myles (independent) YES

 

Carnoustie and district

Bill Bowles (independent) YES

Brian Boyd (independent) YES

David Cheape (independent) YES

 

Forfar and District

Colin Brown (independent) YES

Ian McLaren (independent) YES

Lynne Devine (SNP) YES

Glennis Middleton (SNP) YES

 

Kirriemuir and Dean

Iain Gaul (SNP) NO

Jeannette Gaul (SNP) YES

Ronnie Proctor (Conservative) YES

 

Monifieth and Sidlaw

Craig Fotheringham (Conservative) YES

Rob Murray (SNP) NO

Sheila Hands (SNP) YES

Margaret Thomson (Labour) NO

 

Montrose

David May (Lib Dem) NO

Mark Salmond (independent) YES

Paul Valentine (SNP) NO

Bill Duff (SNP) YES

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