SNP COUNCILLOR Sandy West has announced that he is not to stand at the next Angus Council election in May.
Councillor West has decided that with his 75th birthday due next month, it is time to step down.
This will bring to an end an honourable 25-year run, first as a member of Tayside Regional Council and now Angus Council.
Councillor West is a native of Ferryden, and attended school there and then Montrose Academy.
He joined the merchant navy as a baker, and sailed with both Union Castle and Cunard, to South Africa with the former, and across the Atlantic with the latter, in the ‘Lizzie’, the Queen Elizabeth.
He then came ashore and, as a married man, worked with Gellatley the baker in Brechin.
Sandy found it difficult to settle on shore, and in 1970 he found work on a drilling rig, as did many former Merchant Seamen.
But he found that the time spent away from his family was irksome and he took a job as a cook at Sunnyside Royal Hospital from where he retired after 19 years.
Sandy and his wife, Irene (a Bridge of Dun lady), were married in 1962.
They have two sons: Roddy and his family are in Qatar, and Blair lives locally. There are two grandchildren, Stein and Jess.
Sandy was a founder member in 1965 of the Montrose branch of the SNP, and in 1978 he stood for Tayside Regional Council.
He was unsuccessful but, with a steadily increasing following, he persevered at Regional and District Council elections until 1986 when he was elected to the Regional Council.
When the unitary councils were created in 1995, Sandy was one of the first members, and served from 1995 until 2003 as roads convener.
He said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed serving the people of Montrose as their Councillor. The achievements of Angus Council during the years when there was an SNP administration, are a source of considerable pride for me.
“In particular, I am glad that we were successful in overcoming many obstacles to achieve the construction of the Montrose inner relief road and the new bridge over the River South Esk. The inner relief road has improved immeasurably the amenity and environment of the town.
“After almost a quarter of a century in local government, it is now the right time for me to step aside and to allow someone else the opportunity and privilege to represent Montrose in Angus Council after the May elections.
“During the election campaign, I will be working hard on behalf of my successor as one of the SNP candidates for Montrose Ward. Until then, I remain happy to pursue any issues which anyone in Montrose would wish me to raise on their behalf. I can be contacted by telephone or e-mail.”
Sandy’s hobbies include walking and biking, and he says he still gets lots of exercise delivering leaflets.
An SNP candidate has indeed been lined up for the May election, to stand in Sandy’s place. He is Hillside-born Bill Duff, who has been an active SNP supporter for many years.