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Caithness News Bulletins May 2007

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Election 2007 Highland Council    
13 May 07
Top Two Elected To Lead Highland Council
The new Convener of The Highland Council is Independent Councillor Sandy Park, one of four members representing Nairn. Vice-Convener is Scottish National Party Councillor Jean Urquhart, one of four members serving Wester Ross, Strathpeffer and Lochalsh.

They were elected today (Thursday) at the first meeting of the 80-strong Council following the elections on 3 May. They will serve for four years.

Other office-bearers will be elected at the next Council meeting on Thursday 31 May, when the committee structure is agreed. Councillors Park and Urquhart will lead an Independent/Scottish National Party Administration. The Opposition will be formed by Liberal Democrat and Labour councillors.

At today's meeting, Councillor Park was proposed by Councillor John Finnie, SNP Group Leader, and seconded by Councillor Carolyn Wilson, Independent.

Councillor Michael Foxley, Liberal Democrat, was proposed by Liberal Democrat colleagues, David Alston, and seconded by Councillor Ian Ross.

Councillor Park was elected as Convener, after winning the vote 48-29.

Councillor Urquhart was proposed by Councillor John Laing, Independent, and seconded by Councillor Drew Hendry, SNP.

Councillor Foxley was proposed by Councillors Stuart Black and Drew Millar, both Liberal Democrats. The vote again was 48 - 29.

Councillor Park was elected to The Highland Council in 1995 as the Independent member for Auldearn. Between 2001 - 2007, he was Chairman of the Council's Planning Development Europe and Tourism Committee. He also serves on the Cairngorms National Park Board.

He was also Provost of Nairn, through his position of Chairman of the Council's Nairnshire Area Committee for eight years. For 38 years, Councillor Park has worked, managed and been a director of W.W. Brown Butchers, Nairn, and is a former Chairman of the Association of Nairn Businesses.

On the sporting front, he represented Scotland at clay pigeon shooting and is a former Captain of Nairn Dunbar Golf Club. Councillor Urquhart joined the Council in 2003 as the member for Lochbroom.

She is Depute Leader of the SNP Group on the Council and is a trustee and board member of the UHI Millennium Institute. She moved to Ullapool in 1970 with her late husband, Robert, to set up the Ceilidh Place, Ullapool, which she still runs.

The make-up of the Council is: 34 Independent; 22 Liberal Democrat; 17 Scottish National Party; 7 Labour.