Candidates – Ward 5 – Oban North and Lorn

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Linda Battison: Independent
Linda Battison

People are our area’s most important asset and I will put them ahead of politics and listen to their concerns. That’s why I am standing as an independent.
I have spent my working life in the tourism industry and through OLTA I’ve worked hard to promote the area as a visitor destination. Covid has challenged this sector, but the industry is resilient and as we build back, we must shape tourism to benefit local communities.

Working towards net-zero is also important but going green must be done responsibly; local voices should be heard and our exceptional landscapes protected. The future of Oban Harbour worries many and whilst personally disappointed the council rejected Trust Port proposals, I will push for the swift establishment of a Municipal Port.
Investment in people begins with our children. Education, housing, social and health care services must be protected and enhanced if we are to avoid depopulation. We all know that budgets are stretched, and we are living with uncertainty.

I promise to be honest and open about what can be achieved. As an independent I won’t be tied by party policies and will do what I believe is best for our area.

Kyle Campbell-Renton: Independent
Kyle Campbell-Renton

As an Argyll local and father of two, I can’t imagine a more perfect ward to represent than Oban North and Lorn. And a lot of residents begged me to stand.

I’m a pro-independence, pro-EU, common-sense candidate. My first promise is responsible representation and to focus on local issues. I’ll attend every Community Council meeting in the ward, for instance, Council and family responsibilities permitting.

I loathe the idea of cluster-schools – a callous, cheapskate idea and manifestly ridiculous.

I’ll campaign for a Trust Port to be established for Oban Harbour – with its own professionally run Port Authority.

I’ll push for the National Mod to return to Oban as its permanent venue, and also press – fulfilling a 1988 promise – for CalMac to relocate its HQ to our town, their busiest port.

I want council-tax quadrupled on second/holiday-homes (as will shortly be done in Wales) and to explore green-energy plans – including updates to Oban’s ageing car-charging points. Just now, we seem to get all the wind-turbines on all our skylines as the Big Electricity companies reap the profits.

In all? I’m a fresh voice, a new generation – and offer bold new ideas. All I seek is the chance to serve.

Angus Files: Alba Party
Angus Files

I am a local man born and bred with family connections to many of the islands and local clans.

The key issues are poverty and welfare, both of which need significant action at local level. Also, I am committed to supporting our schools to give the best outcomes to ensure a better future for our children. Affordable housing is required for our local communities and to raising awareness of the need for the disabled to have housing suitable to their needs.

I fully support the development of a Municipal Port. The town needs a caravan park to alleviate camping at Ganavan and to promote suitable spaces for campervan tourism.

As a former skateboarder I have supported the development of a skateboard park for 45 years now.

I will do my utmost to support the Islanders and locals in securing a fit for purpose Ferry and Service and I support development of a TRO – Traffic Regulation Order – for Oban.

As a former business owner, I will do all I can to help our local business community expand. A tunnel at the Rest and be Thankful and I support the removal of fish farms from our waters, to be relocated on land.

Kieron Green: Independent
Kieron Green

I stand at this election with a strong record representing Oban and Lorn. Council budgets and plans that I have voted for have seen subsidies towards 397 affordable homes locally and over £5million spent towards roads resurfacing and reconstruction here over the last five years.

If re-elected I will continue to prioritise protecting public services, and use opportunities such as the Rural Growth Deal to diversify and improve the resilience of the economy in our area as we all transition to a more sustainable future.

Using the freedom I have as an Independent councillor I will work with others from all parties and none, be they community activists, fellow councillors or governments in Westminster and Holyrood.

My commitment is to listen to you as the electorate – through my ongoing attendance at Community Councils and responding to individual queries. I do not shy away from making necessary decisions, but also reflecting on issues raised such as with the Education Change Programme.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch at kierongreen@yahoo.com or 07871 169764. I would greatly appreciate you considering giving me your number 1 preference when you vote on May 5.

Luna Martin: Scottish Greens
Luna Martin

My name is Luna Martin, I’m a local business owner and have lived in Argyll and Bute all my life. I currently live in Oban where I’m in my second year of university studying Politics, Philosophy and Economics.

I am the co-convener of the Argyll and Bute Scottish Green Party and believe that this year, Argyll and Bute could elect its first Green Councillor.

If elected, I will work towards better enabling small communities to tackle the climate crisis. Just some of my ideas include local procurement of foods, business incentives for waste reduction and local composting gardens.

I believe we must create more affordable homes and opportunities to keep our community growing and thriving.

With over ten pubs within walking distance of another, SAMS, UHI and the islands on our doorstep, we should be a student paradise. We must invest more in our young people if we want them to stay local.

We must urgently develop more comprehensive care and support for elderly and disabled people within our community. Those who reside in Oban and on the islands often have to travel as far as Helensburgh for residential care.

Vote green this May for a greener, fairer council.

Julie McKenzie: Scottish National Party
Julie McKenzie

Thank you for the privilege of serving as your councillor.

These elections herald opportunity for change. You have the power to return a strong team of SNP Councillors, who strive to shift decision making power into community hands.

My family and I have called this ward home for generations. Growing up on Seil, working across local voluntary and statutory sectors and raising my family in Oban and Bonawe, gives me lived insight into local issues.

I am passionate about our area, our heritage, and our people. Our children are the future, and for too long have had to leave to access opportunities in education, employment and housing.

Your concerns are my concerns; education, our roads, ferries, tourism, housing, transport links, empty shops, refuse uplifts, crumbling cemeteries, and rural depopulation; against the backdrop of the pandemic recovery and the brutal challenges ahead with the Tory cost of living crisis.

My background in the drugs field brings an empathetic, solution focused approach to the issues you bring to me. No constituents case is too big or small.

Re-elect me because I have the experience to hit the ground running, to continue the work I’ve started, whilst always putting community priorities first.

Andrew Vennard: Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Andrew Vennard

As a local councillor, I would continue to work with local groups, organisations, and members of the public to keep council services local. Funding for the council has been a challenge in recent years, and I would continue to keep lobbying for funding for the services which the council provides to our local communities.

During the time which I have been a councillor, I have worked with local businesses to attract jobs and investment to the area, and if re-elected, I would continue to do so. The Covid-19 pandemic has been a major challenge for the local economy, particularly the hospitality sector, and the full recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic will be one the main priorities over the coming years.

Working with the local and national stakeholders to improve the local ferry services would also be a priority.

Housing also continues to be a challenge locally, and I would continue to work with the local housing associations, developers, and local businesses, to improve the provision of housing in the area.

As one of your local councillors, I would continue to work hard on behalf of local residents in Oban North and Lorn, and the wider community in Argyll and Bute.