Kristopher Leask to Stand in Kirkwall West and Orphir for Orkney Greens

Kristopher Leask, of St Ola, has been selected by the Orkney Greens to stand as their candidate in the forthcoming OIC election on Thursday 5 May in the Kirkwall West and Orphir Ward.

Kristopher’s key priorities for the Ward are: affordable housing, sustainable tourism, and investing in communities.

Kristopher attended Glaitness Primary and KGS, before going on to study International Relations at the University of St. Andrews. He has worked at EMEC following his undergraduate studies and is now working with Scottish Green MSP Ariane Burgess while completing a Masters in Renewable Energy Development at Heriot Watt in Stromness.

Kristopher said:

“I’m standing because I want to ensure we make the most of the transition to Net-Zero in Orkney, and that we don’t lose sight of the problems faced by people in Kirkwall West & Orphir.

“Tackling the crisis in housing is a top priority; Orcadians, especially young Orcadians, are facing a crisis in housing which is inaccessible, too expensive, and often poor quality.

“Cruise ship tourism, and tourism more broadly, also needs to be managed much more strategically to ensure tourism benefits communities instead of a ‘growth for growths sake’ approach like OIC have pursued.

“OIC must also become much more open and accountable, and I believe that a fresh approach to local governance is exactly what I can bring.

“I’ve known first-hand the challenges many young Orcadians face today, and the Council Chamber at present doesn’t understand their needs. This has to change, and quickly, if we’re to move Orkney into the low-carbon era. Young people face starkly different challenges today than in the past, with a cost-of-living crisis fuelled by energy and house prices, and an increasingly internationally connected world with all its accompanying threats.

“I’d be grateful for voter support to push these changes through and bring sorely needed new perspectives to OIC.”

The Scottish Greens are so far the only national political party to select candidates to stand in seats for election to Orkney Islands Council.

Orkney’s Green Team:

Orkney Greens Co-Convenor, Councillor Steve Sankey, who is retiring at the next election has welcomed his Green colleague Kristopher Leask’s intention to stand.

He said “Kris is an enthusiastic, young candidate, amazingly experienced and connected, and exactly the sort of person that we should be looking to elect in Orkney to make the Council Chamber more representative of Orkney’s demographic. We urgently need to transform the older, male culture currently making all the key decisions about our sustainable future in Orkney.”

The Orkney Greens will field five candidates in the forthcoming OIC elections on 5 May, and openness and transparency will be one of their key values, along with prioritising rural housing and sustainable development. 

Local elections will take place on Thursday May 5th. Anyone aged 16 or over that day, resident in Orkney and registered to vote, will be able to vote.  If you are not registered to vote you can register up to Monday 18 April at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

Anyone registered to vote but not listed as a postal voter can apply to vote by post by visiting www.orkney-shetland-vjb.co.uk and downloading the application form, which must be returned by 5pm on Tuesday 19 April, or sooner.

Any questions contact Electoral Registration Officer for Orkney and Shetland:  01856 876222 or email ero@orkney.gov.uk