Heather Woodbridge wins North Isles council seat
Residents in the North Isles have, this week, elected the youngest councillor in the history of Orkney Islands Council to represent them.
It was announced, today, Friday, that 26-year-old Heather Woodbridge, from North Ronaldsay, had been voted in as the third councillor for the North Isles ward. The By-election, which saw a total of four candidates join the race, was precipitated by the sad passing of Heather’s father, Councillor Kevin Woodbridge.
Daniel Adams (independent), Coilla Drake (Scottish Labour Party), and Claire Stevens (independent) also ran. Heather Woodbridge was elected in the first round of voting, with 638 voters casting their first preference vote for her.
Turnout for this election was 50.7 per cent, with 913 valid votes and seven rejected ballot papers. The count of votes was undertaken electronically at Kirkwall Town Hall, where staff took the relevant COVID-19 precautions.
After hearing the result, the newly elected Councillor Woodbridge, who ran as an independent said she was delighted.
“I feel fantastic,” she told The Orcadian.
“I’m so exhilarated. I’m so excited to take this on.”
Aged only 26, Councillor Woodbridge will make a sizeable dent in the age of representatives making up the council chamber.
Asked if her win was also a win for young voices in Orkney, she said: “Oh, absolutely! I think this is a huge win for young people, and hopefully it will support and encourage more young people to stand.”
The North Ronaldsay resident also commended her fellow candidates for their campaigns, and said she was looking forward to working closely with fellow North Isles councillors, Stephen Clackson and Graham Sinclair.
Asked if she was proud to have been given the opportunity to carry on her father’s work as councillor, she said: “I’m so proud to have this opportunity to represent the North Isles and to follow in my father’s footsteps, because he cared so passionately about being a strong voice for the North Isles, and I hope to do the same.”