Want to read more?
We value our content and access to our full site is only available with a subscription. Your subscription entitles you to 7-day-a-week access to our website, plus a full digital copy of that week’s paper to read on your pc/mac or mobile device. In addition, your subscription includes access to digital archive copies from 2006 onwards.
Just want to read one issue? No problem you can subscribe for just one week (or longer if you wish).
technical support? Click here
The Scottish Greens have local candidates standing in both Lochaber wards for the first time in Highland Council elections.
Andrew Baldrey is standing in the uncontested Caol and Mallaig ward, so it is confirmed he will be Lochaber’s first Green councillor.
Dr Kate Willis is standing in the four-seat ward of Fort William and Ardnamurchan, where she came third in December’s by-election with more than 14 per cent of first preference votes.
Environmental campaigner Dr Willis lives on Locheilside and has worked in the Highlands for nearly 20 years as a marine biologist and a wildlife tour guide.
She currently works for Lochaber Environmental Group improving active travel opportunities and cycling infrastructure in the area, including delivering the new Hi-Bike Fort William ebike share scheme which launched last week.
She is also working with West Highland Community Rail Partnership and Hitrans on the Fort William to Glenfinnan Active Travel Path project.
Dr Willis is also passionate about rewilding, local food production and improving home energy efficiency. She believes Lochaber needs green voices on Highland Council to bring new perspectives on local issues and ensure that council decisions and funding reflect the voices and needs of the area as Highland Council becomes increasingly Inverness-centric.
Dr Willis told the Lochaber Times: ‘We need to do everything we can to ensure the right decisions are made in the coming months and years, and we need a proper green recovery to tackle the climate and ecological crises, create jobs, and build a sustainable Highlands for our children and grandchildren to grow up in.
‘The time for change is now and Green candidates are standing with a manifesto to work towards so, no surprises, you know where we stand on the issues that matter to you.’
Dr Willis was helped out by Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie on the campaign trail in Inverlochy recently.
Mr Harvie added: ‘We have Greens in national government delivering free bus travel for
young people, record investment in active travel, nature recovery and recycling, the biggest teacher recruitment drive since 2007 and so much more.
‘Now we need more Greens elected to Highland Council to work just as hard at community level. Having met with Kate in Fort William recently I know just how active she already is in Lochaber.
‘So I can see how much more she would be able to do for the Fort William and Ardnamurchan ward if enough people give her their first preference vote to be one of the local councillors. Kate will bring new energy and fresh thinking, so I really hope she gets that backing.’
Dr Willis told the Lochaber Times she is standing for the Scottish Greens because they have a track record of delivering sweeping positive change in parliament, government and council, despite being a ‘smaller’ party.
She said ‘The Greens commitment to a fairer and greener world translates into
positive impacts for people and nature, not the powerful’s pals and donors. The Scottish Greens represent the politics of a better tomorrow and are the only party working to tackle the climate and ecological crises and a just transition towards a more sustainable future.
‘We are a grass-roots people-powered party and the only party that is truly prepared to deliver for our communities. I will work to deliver a council that listens to people beyond Inverness.’
Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie joined Dr Kate Willis on the campaign trail recently.
NO F15 PH leaflets cropped