Quick! Staffin needs you – deadline looming

ANYBODY interested in standing for election to Staffin Community council – including older teenagers in the area – has until Tuesday to register. And Highland Council’s leader has pledged that new members will have a greater role in decisions affecting Staffin than ever before.

Community council elections take place each every four years and Nomination Papers must be lodged by 4pm on Tuesday, October 6 at Tigh na Sgire in Portree.

Having given sterling service over the last four years and in many cases a longer period, six members of the eight-strong Staffin Community Council have indicated that they will step down this autumn for a variety of different reasons

That has sparked a need for new people to stand for election. The community council is a vital statutory body and plays a hugely important role. It allows Staffin residents to act and speak out on behalf of their community on a variety of key issues which affect the day-to-day lives of the resident population. Community councils are voluntary organisations that express the views and concerns of local people.

Highland Council leader Margaret Davidson said: “I would really encourage anyone wishing to play a greater role in their community to stand for a Community Council and to get their nomination form in by 4pm on Tuesday October 6. The role of a community councillor is very rewarding and a lot of the focus is about making positive changes and improvements to bring direct benefits to people living and working in local communities. With the Highland Council emphasis on devolving democracy, I’m certain community councils are going to be playing a greater role in decision making and planning services for their communities in the future.”

Community meetings held at the school.

Community meetings held at the school.

In Staffin, the community council has been closely aligned with the Save Portree Hospital campaign, improvements at the Staffin Surgery, the Scottish Ambulance Service, road and general amenity improvements and has supported a range of local events and organisations. Monthly meetings are held at Staffin Primary School on Thursday evenings. Community councils are also consulted on key planning applications affecting the area. Anyone can become a member of Staffin Community Council provided they are over 16 years old, live within the district and are on the electoral register.

If you wish to become a Staffin community councillor you can nominate yourself. An election will not be held if the number of people nominated is less than the number of members allowed on the Staffin Community Council. Nomination papers can be downloaded through this link http://www.highland.gov.uk/downloads/file/15141/nomination_paper or anybody wishing to print off a hard copy can ask Hugh Ross at the Staffin Trust office.

The papers must be filled in by the candidate and handed to the council’s Skye ward manager Willie MacKinnon at Tigh na Sgire.