The by-election for The Highland Council’s Ward 12 – Aird and Loch Ness has been postponed for public safety due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Returning Officer, Donna Manson (pictured) is implementing clause 70 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 that allows Returning Officers to postpone Local Authority Elections in Scotland and will set a new by-election date for 2021 once all available dates have been considered.
Following the death of Councillor George Cruickshank (Scottish Conservative and Unionist), a by-election for Ward 12 – Aird and Loch Ness would normally have been held in Spring 2020.
A new polling day which was set for Thursday, 5 November 2020 has now also been postponed.
Mrs Manson explained:
“I have held a number of meetings with my Election Team and considered the risks to election staff, the public and the democratic process.
“In light of the current public health advice around the control of the coronavirus and under the provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020 I am postponing this by-election of the vacancy until a future date in 2021.
“The decision to postpone has been made following consultation with Scottish Ministers, the Electoral Management Board Convener, Electoral Commission and my Elections Team – while taking into account the latest public health advice.
“This decision is not made lightly but is made under the very fast-moving situation of the COVID-19 crisis which continues to have a significant impact on our daily lives.
“The pandemic has seriously impacted on our ability to deliver safe democratic processes to enable the by-election to take place and the health and safety of the public and our elections staff is paramount.”