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Council convener decides it’s the ‘right time’ to retire – after 42 years of public service

Norman A Macdonald.
Norman A Macdonald.

The convener of Western Isles Council has chaired his final meeting after 42 years of service.

Councillor Norman A. Macdonald will not stand for reelection in May.

The grandfather-of-nine has decided to step aside to let “younger” voices be heard in the chamber.

“I’m worried about missing a lot of things, but I think it’s the right time,” he said.

“It was time for me to move on and to allow younger people to engage with the next cohort of young people coming through.”

Mr Macdonald first joined the council in 1980 as a community education officer and youth worker, staying in that role until he was elected into the council in 1997.

Before becoming convener in 2012, he had a number of roles including vice-chairman of environmental services committee and chairman of both the transportation committee and environment and protective services committees.

Retirement plans

The years following Mr Macdonald’s retirement look to be centred around DIY, with a list of jobs already mounting up.

He said: “I’ve still got quite a bit of work to do on the house that I started building over 20 years ago so there will be some relief in that hopefully once things start moving.”

Western Isles Council leader Roddie Mackay thanked Mr Macdonald for his many years of service and paid tribute to his “companionship and significant contribution”.

He said: “Norman always managed to get things done and if it was something which would benefit the community and community groups, he would always find a way. I’m quite sure that his community in Uig are very grateful for his diligent service as their local member over the past 25 years.”

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Outwith the council, Mr Macdonald has also played a part in many community groups and projects.

These include director at Community Learning Scotland, watch manager at Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue Service and director at Western Isles Enterprise.

Looking back fondly on his time with the council, Mr Macdonald said: “I’m quite happy moving forward, I don’t have any regrets.”

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