New councillor to tackle role with ‘energy and enthusiasm’

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The new councillor elected at the Carnoustie by-election on Monday has said he will continue the good work of the late Provost of Angus.

Independent candidate David Cheape replaced the late Helen Oswald, councillor and provost.

The turnout was 30.2 per cent, with 3246 ballot papers received from a total of 10,752 registered voters. Councillor Cheape received 1401 votes, Mark McDonald (SNP), 1033; Beth Morrison (Lib Dems), 75; Derek Shaw (Conservatives), 568; and Raymond Strachan (Labour), 141.

Following his victory Councillor Cheape said: “I would like to start by paying tribute to the late Helen Oswald who was a councillor committed to the burgh and surrounding communities and who worked relentlessly on behalf of so many causes and individuals. I am both delighted and honoured to have been elected a councillor for Carnoustie and District and thank everyone for their support and confidence in me.

‘‘I would hope to carry on Helen’s good works and promise to work with enthusiasm and energy in my role for the good of the town and surrounding villages.

‘‘I’d also like to thank the other candidates for taking part in a fair election which allowed me to build new friendships even with my competitors.

“Angus faces significant financial challenges over the next few years which will clearly impact on services. The scale of the challenge cannot be underestimated with savings of around £30 to £40 million expected.

“Required savings of this magnitude must surely mean changes to the way in which the council operates. There will be a need for strong leadership at all levels of the organisation and undoubtedly some services will be negatively impacted more than others. It is important, however, that the most vulnerable are protected.

“The SNP administration has to stop blaming others for the predicament we find ourselves in. Nationally they have been in power for almost 10 years. In Angus they have had council control since 2012. They have had enough time to establish their economic and and social credentials. An SNP government-imposed council tax freeze has only served to rob local authorities of much needed income to maintain existing services.

“Going forward, we need to deliver services efficiently and fairly. The good of Angus as a whole must be the watchword.

‘‘ In representing Carnoustie and its surrounding communities, I will work tirelessly to best represent their interests over the next few months and hopefully beyond next May’s full council elections.”

The Carnoustie Ward is now relatively unusual as it joins the small number of other Scottish local authority wards which have no elected SNP councillors, such as Landward Caithness and Lower Deeside.