A delighted Tamala Collier promises to be an advocate for young people after being elected to Highland Council.
The Invergordon mother is one of four councillors chosen to represent the Cromarty Firth ward on the new-look authority.
The SNP member joins independents Maxine Morley-Smith and Pauline Munro, as well as Liberal Democrat Molly Nolan in the all-female representation.
She pulled in 1,127 first preference votes, the higher number in the ward, and is now one of 22 SNP councillors on the council.
“I am so happy the community voted for me and trusted me to represent them”, a thrilled Tamala said after the result was announced.
“I enjoyed campaigning. I like to get to know people personally and it gave me the chance to understand and identify the issues and the areas where we have to work together to improve the community.
“But now the actions have to start. I am looking forward and planning what I’m going to do next.”
Before the election, the new councillor, originally from Colombo, Sri Lanka, said she wanted to ensure the Cromarty Firth gets its fair share of council budget to spend on roads, housing and schools.
Creation of youth groups
She also supports the creation of local youth groups and said youngsters should have access to career guidance, particularly on clean energy jobs locally.
“The first promise I made to myself, before I even became a candidate, was to look after the youth.
“I’m a mum myself, so I want the best for children.”
She is also proud to be part of an all-female councillor ward on the council.
“It’s great to see females represented, and also being from an ethnic minority. I thank the people for trusting me and giving me this opportunity.”