Six to battle for Bute council seats

SIX candidates will go into battle for the three Bute seats on Argyll and Bute Council in the forthcoming local government elections.

The three defending candidates, the SNP’s Isobel Strong and Robert Macintyre and independent Len Scoullar, will face challenges from Adam Bellshaw for Labour, Peter Wallace for the Conservatives and Hugh Cole for the Scottish Christian Party.

Five of the six had already declared their intention to contest the Isle of Bute ward on May 3, but Mr Cole’s candidacy was only made known when Argyll and Bute Council published the complete list of candidates for the entire council area after the deadline for nominations passed at 4pm on Thursday.

Mr Cole, who lives in Port Bannatyne, is the only Scottish Christian Party candidate standing for election in Argyll and Bute.

Seventy-eight nominations for the 11 multi-member council wards were received, although news broke on Friday morning of the death of one candidate, the SNP’s Alister McAlister, after a long illness.

Mr McAlister was due to contest the Dunoon ward, which he had represented since 2007. It is understood that under election rules, the Dunoon ward contest - in which current council leader Dick Walsh is also standing - will not now take place on May 3; it is likely to be held five weeks after polling day.

To see the full list of those nominated for election, click on the link to the right of this article.