Lib Dems 'delight' after they scooped two seats in twin by-elections for Highland Council with the no nonsense Jill Tilt now representing Wick and East Caithness
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The Liberal Democrats' Jill Tilt has said she is “delighted” after winning the by-election for the Wick and East Caithness Highland Council ward.
She was one of two Lib Dems elected in a twin by-elections for the local authority and said she was looking forward to getting started.
Councillor Tilt will replace Nicola Sinclair who stood down earlier this year to take up a career in journalism.
The electorate for Wick and East Caithness is 10,040 with 2439 ballot papers verified making a turnout 24.3 per cent.
She won with 657 first preference votes, eventually passing the 1206 vote mark needed for election at the fifth round of the count.
Much fancied Independent Bill Fernie got 622 first preference votes, who was looking to regain a seat in council, followed by the SNP's Michael Cameron on 593.
The Conservative's Daniel Ross received 523 and Harry Christian of the Scottish Libertarian Party got 16.
After Colin Aitken won the other by-election in Inverness West, the number of Liberal Democrats in the council is now 11 – winning seats from two independents – making it the third largest group, after the Independents and the SNP.
Cllr Tilt said: “I'm delighted to have been elected Councillor for Wick and East Caithness, and am looking forward to working with the team in Caithness. I have had huge support from so many people and am looking forward to playing my part.
“Obviously the roads in the county are a major issue, and signage really needs to be addressed. There is a problem with the maternity service and mental health has been a huge problem exacerbated by the covid crisis.
"These are just a few of the issues that need addressing.”
The election of the two councillors was welcomed by Lib Dem far north MP Jamie Stone who congratulated them both on their by-election victories.
He said: “Both Jill and Colin are to be congratulated for two splendid results. I have no doubt that they will make a very significant contribution to public representation and will be exceptionally strong voices for their communities on the Highland Council.
“On a wider note, these results are clear indicators of the beginning of a sea change in Scottish politics. Liberalism is alive and well.”
Related Story – Voters in Wick and East Caithness urged to 'make vote count'