Independent Highland Councillor defects to SNP
AN INDEPENDENT Highland Councillor has defected to the SNP group after being ‘deliberately frozen out’.
Bill Clark, who had represented his Caol and Mallaig in Lochaber for 10 years, said the Independent Group on Highland Council had made it clear to him that he would not be nominated for any committees by them, despite his experience.
Councillor Clark said: “It was impressed on me that I had to join the group or forget about being nominated, and so it has come to pass, they have delivered on their threat.
“This not only makes it difficult for me to fully represent my constituents, it is also an unacceptable way for independent councilors to behave. In my opinion there is now no room for a truly independent Councillor on Highland Council.
“Effectively they were saying ‘join our group or you’re out’. There is no way that I could buckle to such demands.
“I also believe that my support for Scottish independence is not popular with some Independent leaders who seem to have an intense dislike of the SNP. “As a result, and because I am determined to represent my constituents to the fullest, I am now asking the SNP group to accept me as one of their members.
“With my support of Scottish independence this is in many ways a very natural move for me. I relish the opportunity the party will afford me of doing my best for the people of Caol and Mallaig.
“I also welcome their open-mindedness and will enjoy an atmosphere where independent thinking is encouraged rather than frowned upon.”
Councillor Drew Hendry, Leader of the Council Administration and the SNP group, has welcomed the decision. He said: “We see Bill Clark as a Councillor with expertise, valuable experience and a lot to offer. We believe he is a talented Councillor who can have a huge positive impact on the Council’s business and how it serves the Highland public.
“Bill has always focused on making the right choices for his ward but has also understood the need to work with others.
“We admire his honesty and integrity, qualities that everyone wants to see in public service.”
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Friday 24 May 2013
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