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oic

Councillor John Ross Scott joins Scottish Greens

Councillor John Ross Scott (left) has joined the Scottish Green Party. He intends to run as a Green candidate at the next OIC elections in 2022. If he were to win back his seat, he would be the second Green councillor among a chamber of independents, alongside Councillor Steve Sankey.

A Kirkwall East councillor has announced plans to buck the trend of independent leadership at Orkney Islands Council by joining the Scottish Green Party. 

Councillor John Ross Scott has made headlines in recent months for his strong views on the current establishment at School Place, alleging that a “clique mentality” and “tribalism mindset” that has “plagued” the council for years.

OIC itself has dismissed these claims, which came after Councillor Scott was found to have breached confidentiality at a hearing of the Standards Commission for Scotland in January. The Kirkwall East Councillor was reported to the commission by 12 fellow councillors due to concerns over a series of Facebook posts he published at the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown relating to OIC’s emergency response.

Councillor Scott is not alone in making these allegations, however. In recent weeks, North Isles councillor, Dr Stephen Clackson has also claimed that there is a “cabal” made up of a select few elected members within the council chamber — a claim which has also been dismissed by OIC’s leader Councillor James Stockan.

In announcing his intentions to join the Greens today, Councillor Scott has said that he will remain an independent councillor up until next year. He then hopes to run as a candidate for his ward once more, but as a Green representative.

In a statement issued today, Monday, the ardent campaigner for transparency within local government said: “I have always taken a keen interest in policies concerning communities, equality and the environment, and I firmly believe that the Greens are the party leading the drive for a positive future that will be vital in our post COVID years.   

“Seeing the positive impact of Green MSPs and local Councillor Steve Sankey has encouraged me to be part of the Greens for change movement.

“It is only right, however, that – since the people of Kirkwall East voted me onto the Council as an Independent Councillor – I should continue my work as an Independent until the May 2022 elections. My aim over the forthcoming year will be to liaise with like-minded Councillors to bring about change in the way we do things in Orkney.”

Read the full story in this Thursday’s The Orcadian.