Since being elected in 2015, it has been my absolute privilege to serve the diverse communities of the Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey constituency. Therefore, today’s Boundary Commission announcement brings both personal sadness and a wider concern for our region.
The changes mean that at next year’s General Election, our region will only be represented by two constituencies, reduced from the current three, and that is bad news for us all.
On a personal level, the re-drawn boundaries mean that, regardless of the wishes of the voters at the ballot box, I will no longer represent some of the communities I hold dear in the next election.
While the plans to reduce representation without fully considering our region’s unique geography and distinct needs are disheartening, the Commission did see sense and made some changes from previous proposals. In that regard, I want to thank everyone who shared their views with the Boundary Commission.
Our concerted campaigning means the communities of Culloden, Balloch, and Smithton have been returned to the Inverness constituency where they rightfully belong, and new constituency titles now rightly include other communities such as Skye, Nairn, and Strathspey.
I look forward to the opportunity to continue serving the City of Inverness, Aird & Loch Ness and other neighbouring communities while establishing new friendships with the residents of Skye, Fort William and Wester Ross communities as I seek to represent their distinct needs.
Despite the challenges these changes bring, I remain dedicated to serving all our communities. Your voices and your needs are at the heart of my work and, together with my SNP colleagues, I will continue to strive for the very best outcomes for our communities.