Wards and Candidates

Aird & Loch Ness - Chris Balance

Badenoch & Strathspey - Pippa Hadley

Black Isle - Anne Thomas

Fort William & Ardnamurchan - Kate Willis

Inverness Central - Arun Sharma

Inverness West - Ryan Mackintosh

Kirkwall West & Orphir - Kristopher Leask

Orkney West Mainland - Helen Woodsford-Dean

Shetland Central - Martin Randall

Shetland South - Alex Armitage

Shetland West - Debra Nicolson

South Uist, Eriskay & Benbecula - Roddy MacKay

Chris Ballance

Aird & Loch Ness

Co-Convenor of the Highlands and Islands Green Party and council candidate for Aird and Loch Ness ward.

Chris works part-time as a social researcher for a national charity and lives near Drumnadrochit. He is married, with two boys at Glenurquhart High School, and his wife is a traditional story-teller currently working at Eden Court theatre.

He has been campaigning for green issues for many years, and was a Green MSP from 2003-7, so is familiar with political processes.

Chris says “we need two priorities in politics just now; to address the climate issue, and to do it in a way which supports people in poverty. Council priorities must change, to enable us to live greener lifestyles, while making sure that the poor don’t pay for the greed of the rich. In May, please vote Green 1 to win more Green voices on Highland Council. It’s time to change.”

Pippa Hadley

Badenoch & Strathspey

Five years ago I was elected to represent the people of Badenoch and Strathspey. As a politically green Green, this has been a trial by fire… working out what can or can’t be done, and learning how to use my voice to best affect change.

I’ve learned a steady voice is an effective one. Shouting often doesn’t produce the greatest impact. Speaking calmly and truthfully creates change in a way that is helpful to the many – not the loudest few.

Living locally, I listen to and care about all views. I work to translate the diversity of local voices into policy that works for everyone.

As an opposition first-time Councillor, I am proud to have achieved two major policy changes: declaring a climate emergency and greening pension investments. But speaking up for you, the people I live with - working on issues that matter to you - that is where I hope I have made the biggest difference.

Anne Thomas

Black Isle

Anne Thomas has lived near North Kessock since 2006. She has been very active for the Scottish Greens for many years and is now the Prospective Candidate for the Black Isle in the Council elections on 5th May. "I want to leave a world worth living in to my two grand-daughters" she says.  

A volunteer Director of Transition Black Isle, secretary of Highland Cycle Campaign and vice chair of North Kessock Residents Association, she has been busy helping deliver projects to cut the environmental impact of food, travel and energy. She helped set up the North Kessock Community Market and chairs the Avoch, Munlochy Drumderfit Active Travel Link working group. "active travel helps in so many ways, less pollution, better fitness and less congestion for those who do need to drive"

She organised the local volunteer response to Covid 19 including setting up and organising the North Kessock food larder which cuts food waste as well as helping those struggling to make ends meet.   

She is a Speech and Language Therapist for children with additional support needs (ASN) and knows how many people struggle with the lack of support for children with ASN. The extra teachers and support staff won by the Greens' deal with the SNP will help do this.

"Through thousands of conversations I feel I understand Highland concerns. Both the Climate and Ecological Emergency and the Pension motions that we and other campaigners helped Highland Council and its Pension Scheme accept have been effective drivers for change. The Council has reduced emissions by a total of about 42% in the three years since the climate emergency declaration was passed, compared with an average 3% in previous years". More Elected Greens means more carbon and cost savings.

Anne has been working behind the scenes with campaign groups and Councillors, particularly Green Councillor Pippa Hadley, highlighting issues such as the folly of spending £190m on a polluting, incinerator on the Longman, with fumes blowing directly onto the Black Isle, rather than removing the problem by increasing recycling.  

She's also long been campaigning for preventative health care such as improving vitamin D levels.

She and her husband live in a carbon neutral house and she has been helping others to benefit from low bills and reduced impact on the planet.  

She now wants to be one of the elected Greens making these changes happen. 

Kate Willis

Fort William & Ardnamurchan

Kate Willis, local environmental campaigner and marine scientist is standing as a candidate for Scottish Greens in the Fort William and Ardnamurchan Ward in the May Council elections.  

Kate has lived in the Highlands for almost 20 years, first working as a marine ecologist researching the environmental impacts of human activities, and then setting up and running a wildlife tour business in the far north. She currently works for Lochaber Environmental Group developing projects to improve active travel opportunities and cycling infrastructure in Fort William and Lochaber. Many in the area will know Kate from her work delivering the Hi-Bike Fort William e-bike share scheme. Kate is also passionate about rewilding and local food production and has campaigned for many years for government action on the climate and ecological crises.

Kate believes that Lochaber needs a green voice on Highland Council to bring a new perspective on local issues and ensure that Council decisions and funding reflect the voices and needs of the area as Highland Council becomes increasingly Inverness-centric.

Arun Sharma

Inverness Central

I would like to add my voice to the many people who feel that we should be creating a greener and fairer society.

I'm willing to work hard on the issues important to the local community.

I've worked as a GP and hospital doctor in Inverness and the Highlands for 25 years.

Now that my children have grown up, I'd like to put my energy into contributing to this wonderful area we are lucky enough to call home.

With 7 Green MSPs, 2 Green Scottish Ministers and a Green Highland Councillor already proving their worth, now is the time to back the Green party to make a difference locally on green transport, a sustainable economy, affordable housing and the climate change & nature emergency.

Ryan Mackintosh

Inverness West

I’m standing because I want to make a difference for you, my neighbours, to the people living in Inverness West.

As a Scottish Green candidate, I want to empower the youth of the Highlands and uphold Green values by pushing the climate change agenda. I want to raises local concerns and issues often ignored by career politicians.

Born and raised here, I attended both Central and Inverness High School and live within the ward at May Court. I’ve worked in a variety of jobs in retail and tourism throughout the Highlands and currently as a Social Carer for vulnerable individuals. I’m a keen cyclist and strong environmentalist.

As a candidate with deep connections to the area, I understand the local issues that need to be addressed. With your support, I will have the opportunity to bring about meaningful change.

Kristopher Leask

Kirkwall West & Orphir

I was born and brought up in Orkney attending Glaitness Primary and KGS. I then studied International Relations for 4 years at St Andrews, and am currently finishing my masters in Renewable Energy Development at Heriot Watt’s campus in Stromness.

Having a long running interest in renewable energy I was delighted to have the opportunity to intern at EMEC in summer 2021, and to now complete my masters at home. It’s opportunities like these I want to ensure many more Orcadians can access.

I also work part-time for the Scottish Green MSP for the Highlands & Islands, Ariane Burgess, focusing on Local Government, Housing, and Planning. This has provided me with invaluable experience of policy, the political landscape OIC must navigate, and insight into key issue areas for Kirkwall West & Orphir, and Orkney more broadly.

OIC desperately needs more young voices, and as a councillor I would ensure that decision making was open & accountable, and bring a sorely needed fresh perspective.

Helen Woodsford-Dean

Orkney West Mainland

Helen Woodsford-Dean has been a resident of Harray since 2009. Before choosing Orkney as her home, she taught archaeology at Further Education level. Helen continues to encourage community engagement with the past by working in the heritage sector for Orkney Islands Council and Historic Scotland, plus as a self-employed tourist guide and celebrant. She is a board-member of the Orkney Tourist Guides Association and helps to lead Orkney's Young Archaeologists' Club. Helen has previously volunteered as a tutor at The Learning Link and served on the board of the Orkney Archaeology Society; she was one of the co-leads for Orkney Heritage Society's project to install a memorial to the historic victims of the witchcraft trials. As Co-convenor of the Orkney Greens, Helen is committed to Scottish Green Party policies because of their inherent sense of justice and their respect for the environment.

Helen says:

"I want every member of Orkney's community to be supported and to feel a valued part of our society because I believe in justice and a Just Transition. Orkney has tremendous potential, not least in its tourism and renewables sectors, but these must benefit all members of our community. It is vital that OIC develops Orkney’s infrastructure in a sustainable and achievable way. I seek transparency and openness at all levels of government in Orkney. If elected, I would serve our community with integrity and honesty; I promise to be an accountable councillor who can always be trusted to listen to, and act on, your concerns."

Martin Randall

Shetland Central

I’m Martin Randall and I’m standing in Central Ward in Shetland. We moved to Shetland in 2018 when I joined the Scottish Green Party. I’d been an active member of Liverpool Green Party for a number of years before moving north.

As a retired person I’ve been able to involve myself in several local groups and organisations, trying to ensure that the Green voice is heard in an appropriate way. I’m excited to be part of the energetic and creative group of Shetland Greens which has significantly raised the profile of SGP, achieving 10% of list votes in the Holyrood 2020 election. I believe that there are many Shetland folk who would welcome the chance to vote Green in local elections.

Shetland is an amazing place to live and work but faces many challenges as we transition to zero carbon and beyond. We think that the presence of Green councillors in the traditionally non-aligned Shetland Islands Council will provide much needed direction and impetus.

Alex Armitage

Shetland South

I am originally from central London and moved to Bigton in 2020. My mother is a Shetlander and my grandparents were from Cunningsburgh and Scatness. Over the last year I have been involved in the community purchase of our local kirk - I’m inspired to see what can be achieved when folk work collaboratively together and this gives me hope for Shetland’s future.

I work as a children’s doctor and witness how factors beyond people’s control are often a reason why they become unwell. Taking action on a political level can help people in ways that medicine cannot. I’ve seen how political leadership on issues like drug policy can save lives and significantly improve health and life outcomes.

I aim to engage in politics in the same way that I try to practise medicine: by listening to people, by showing care and empathy, and by applying evidence-based policy to improve lives. With the world on the brink of climate disaster and so many of us at home concerned about energy and food security, there is much work to be done.

Debra Nicolson

Shetland West

I have lived in Shetland for nearly 30 years, first at Aith, then 8 years ago I moved to Tresta. For most of my working life here in Shetland, I worked in Community Planning and Development in the Adult Learning section as an administration assistant while raising a family. I am now mostly retired apart from my work as a Community Councillor with Sandsting and Aithsting Community Council and writing the West Owre column in the Shetland Times. I also belong to several local community groups.

If elected, I will commit to working closely with the communities in my ward and will be pushing for the following:

  • Openness and transparency in all the council does.
  • Putting communities at the heart of all that is done.
  • Work towards reducing fuel poverty.
  • Better joined up bus services.
  • Prioritising health and well-being of all Shetland’s residents.

Roddy MacKay

Since 2017 I have been fortunate enough to represent the islands of North Uist and Benbecula at the Comhairle but with the new boundary changes that now means I will no longer be able to represent North Uist or Berneray. I wish to thank everyone who has supported me since 2017 and for the lovely messages of support I’ve received in the last week in particular.

That said I wish to announce that I intend to stand for election in the new Ward of Benbecula, South Uist and Eriskay for the new council term. Living in Benbecula but born & bred on South Uist I am delighted that I now have an opportunity to represent the people of the island of my birth as well as the island on which I live.

Why elect me?

I will be pushing The Greens to use our position within Scottish Government to protect the interests of our island communities and to protect the lifeline ferry service to Lochboisdale in particular.

I will also be building on our already successful campaign to scrap the ridiculous HIAL ATMS plans and to protect Benbecula airport from being downgraded.

Housing is another priority which needs to be addressed urgently. Since the stock transfer in 2006 only 38 houses out of over 500 have been built south of Harris. Since joining the HHP board as the Council representative in 2017, the only board member from outside Lewis, I’ve managed to have another 28 built in Uist & Barra with another 44 in the pipeline, I intend to keep pushing for more.

And of course, I will be pushing the Comhairle to protect our language and our culture. I intend to build on my position as vice-chair of the Gàidhlig committee this term to do more to promote the use of our native language.

If re-elected to the new Ward I promise to work just as hard and stand up equally as firmly for the people of South Uist, Eriskay and Benbecula as I did in my last term.