View Full Version : Champagne toast for Gail

08-Apr-11, 21:23
Gail-force effort wins the Wick council seat

WICK’S newest Highland councillor is Gail Ross.
The SNP candidate emerged the victor in a seven-cornered fight in the Ward 3 seat which became vacant through the resignation of Katrina MacNab, in March, and immediately pledged to do everything she can to justify the confidence placed in her by the electorate.
Mrs Ross got off to a flying start polling 979 votes in the first count- a whopping 570 votes ahead of her nearest rival, Scottish Labour’s Neil MacDonald.
But she had to wait until the third distribution of votes under the transfer system whereby the preferences of the candidate with the lowest number, are allocated amongst the remaining hopefuls. The end result, on the distribution of former Highland councillor Jim Oag’s votes, meant that Mrs Ross broke the magic majority figure of 1047, by two votes and was declared the winner.
Speaking afterwards, she said she had not expected such an overwhelming result and had imagined that the outcome would have been “a lot closer”.
Mrs Ross, who is secretary of The Royal Burgh of Wick Community Council, expressed her thanks to the people of Wick for the confidence they had put in her.
With council and other cuts, was a councillor’s job not a very daunting and uneviable one?
Mrs Ross: “I like a challenge and there are a lot of positive things happened in Wick just now, a new school and hopefully new council offices and the regeneration of Pulteneytown. I am confident I can rise to that challenge, otherwise I would never have stood for the job. I am local, I know the town and its people and I am sure that working with the existing councillors, we can make a difference up here.”
Asked about a view held by some people in the Far North that much of the benefits were concentrated on the Inverness area, Mrs Ross indicated that she would fight Wick’s corner and would like to see more power restored to Caithness but her first task would be to get settled in to council life. She said that the credit for her success was due in no small part to the vigorous campaign mounted by her election team.
Rob Gibson said that the local success by the SNP candidate augured well for the Holyrood election in a matter of weeks.
He said: “The people of Wick have put their trust in us today and I would hope they will extend that come polling day for the Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross seat in the Scottish Parliament.”
Firstly, it was off for a celebration-Mrs Ross received a bottle of champagne from a well-wisher and her council triumph is not the only reason for husband Stewart and her to enjoy a toast. Son Max celebrates his birthday on Sunday!
Turnout in the election was 38.2 per centand the total number of valid votes cast was 2,091.
Tory candidate Michael Carr was eliminated at the end of stage one with 33 votes. Laurel Bush followed at the end of stag 2, with 75 votes, and Jim Oag, independent went out in the third and deciding stage with 202 and that distribution eased Mrs Ross over the finishing line.
Mrs Ross joins fellow Wick councillors, Bill Fernie, Independent and Councillor Graeme Smith, Independent Members Group, in representing Ward 3 (Wick) on Highland Council.
The shape of the council is now, Independent, 24,members, Liberal Democrat, 20 members, SNP, 17 members, Labour seven members, Independent Members Group six, Independent Alliance Group, 4, non-aligned 1 and vacant 1.