Orkney Labour party are to field a candidate in the North Isles By Election.
Coilla Drake who lives in Westray will contest the seat for Labour.
The by-election will take place on Thursday 1 October and follows the death earlier this year of Councillor Kevin Woodbridge.
The North Isles ward is served by 3 councillors – Councillor Graham Sinclair and Councillor Stephen Clackson were elected in 2017.
Coilla Drake said:
“I live on a very small farm in Broughton, Westray. I have lived in Orkney for fifteen years now, though I have been aware and proud of my Orkney roots, which are spread across several of the North Isles since my childhood.
“I spent 26 years working as a veterinary nurse in mixed practice. I then worked for three years as a Lecturer in Further education where I taught a wide range of abilities.
“We then moved up to Orkney and I was a carer for my husband, who had dementia, bowel cancer and multiple other health issues, for 12 years. During this time, I also cared for my father who was blind, hard of hearing, and had dementia and other health difficulties.
“I now work for the Westray Bakery and as an ambulance driver.
Among the issues Coilla has identified are the need to renew the ageing inter island ferry fleet, the ferry fares and the ticketing system, the outdated fire systems and the loss of services such as recycling due to the Covid19 pandemic.
Coilla said that addressing the issue of the ferry fleet and fairer fares was of major importance to her; also bringing resources and employment to the isles.
“Covid lockdown has shown us that remote working is both very possible and works well; and island proofing our North Isles communities. There are of course myriad other issues which also need addressing urgently.”
Nomination forms for prospective candidates are now available and these can be lodged with the Council by Monday 31 August.