Tributes paid to long-serving councillor

A CAITHNESS councilor who is stepping down from Highland Council has been praised for his contribution over the years.
Highland Councillor Robert Coghill, who represents Landward Caithness, has given notice of his intention to resign, with effect from Thursday 28 February.

Councillor Coghill, who helps run a farm at Halkirk, is standing down on medical advice.
Councillor Coghill, who is a member of the Independent Group on the council, said: “I am disappointed that I have had to resign but I cannot ignore medical advice. I have really enjoyed my time on the council and have been impressed by the dedication of our staff in providing high quality services to our communities.”
Council Convener Jimmy Gray said: “Robert has always been committed to Caithness and the Highlands and has served the council with distinction during his six years with us. We wish him and his family all the best for the future.”
Leader of the Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee Councillor Deirdre Mackay said: “'I have known Robert for a long time. He is very committed to his home area and this was always reflected in his work on The Highland Council.”
Leader of the Independent Group, Councillor Carolyn Wilson said: “Robert has been a valued and effective member of the Independent Group and has contributed greatly to the work we have achieved over the years. We are really sorry he has had to stand down but his health must come first.”
Councillor Coghill was elected to Highland Council in 2007 and was re-elected in May of last year. He is one of the four Ward members for Landward Caithness. The other Ward members are Councillors David Bremner, Willie Mackay and Alex MacLeod.
Between 2007 – 2012, Councillor Coghill was vice-chair of the Caithness Sutherland and East Ross Planning Applications Committee and more recently was vice-chair of the North Planning Applications Committee.
Due to his ill health, he recently stood down as vice-chair of the North PAC and his position has been taken by Councillor Audrey Sinclair, Wester Ross, Strathpeffer and Lochalsh.
He also serves on the Planning Environment and Development Committee and the Audit and Scrutiny Committee.
A by-election will be held on Thursday 2 May, with the count taking place the following day.