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Raymond Bremner's role as Highland Council leader is 'good for Wick'

By Alan Hendry

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Councillor Raymond Bremner is the first person from Caithness to hold the position of Highland Council leader.
Councillor Raymond Bremner is the first person from Caithness to hold the position of Highland Council leader.

Raymond Bremner believes his new role as leader of Highland Council is "good for Wick" and for the rest of Caithness.

The SNP member for Wick and East Caithness is the first person from the county to hold the position.

He was formally confirmed as the leader of the political administration in May, following the local government elections, and made it clear at the time that he would be "a Caithness councillor first and foremost".

Speaking at the June meeting of the Royal Burgh of Wick Community Council on Monday night, Councillor Bremner said he was delighted to have been re-elected to the Wick and East Caithness ward.

“You never know what's going to happen, but I certainly didn't see that things would transpire that I would land up being leader of the council," he said. “I think that's good for Wick, as well as the rest of Caithness.

“There's a lot of things that are going on in Wick, when you take stock of all the stuff we were working on over the past year and more.

“Some things transpire quicker than others. Most don't transpire quickly at all, but we've got to keep our shoulder to the wheel to make sure that these projects are followed up.”

Councillor Bremner explained that the new Highland Council had gone through the process of appointing leaders to all its strategic committees.

“Now, the councillors have the ability to start getting to find out who all the officers are and find out who their colleagues are and start building relationships with them to work with their local areas," he said. "I hope that works well for Wick.

“There's a job to do at Highland Council for all the Highland councillors, but there is most definitely a job to be done on the local scene.”

Community council chairperson Joanna Coghill said: "We look forward to a really positive relationship again between the community council and yourself."

She told Councillor Bremner she was delighted that he had become council leader, adding: "But don't forget about us."

Councillor Bremner replied: "That will not be happening. I think that this is a real opportunity for Wick and for Caithness."

Mrs Coghill added: "They are starting to realise that we are not quiet. We are starting to really shout."

Community councillor Alastair Ferrier added: "It's like having the Prime Minister as your MP."

Community councillors agreed to extend a "come and meet us" invitation to the other three Highland councillors for Wick and East Caithness – Andrew Jarvie, Jan McEwan and Willie Mackay.

Vice-chairman Allan Farquhar said: "Certainly there will be aspects of what goes on in the town that affect all the east coast communities so it is wise to give them a heads-up."

Mrs Coghill told Councillor Bremner: "I hope that your fellow Highland councillors will take over some of the projects that you were heavily involved in because we know you're going to be up to your eyeballs."

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