A newly-elected north-east MSP has pledged to donate her councillor’s salary to local charities for the next year.
Jackie Dunbar was elected as the new MSP for Aberdeen Donside at last week’s Scottish Parliament election, taking over from Mark McDonald who did not seek re-election.
Ms Dunbar has also sat on Aberdeen City Council for the last 14 years, representing the Northfield and Mastrick North ward.
She revealed she has no plans to stand down from her local authority role before next year’s council elections, citing the cost to the public of holding a by-election.
However, she will instead donate her council salary – around £17,500 – to local charities while she is performing both roles.
Following her election to Holyrood last week, Ms Dunbar said she “always wants to look after the pennies”.
“I am a councillor for another year and my intention at this moment in time would be to carry on,” she added. “A by-election costs the public purse double the amount it costs for a councillor’s salary.
“It’s not a case of taking two salaries – you’re not allowed to not take one. What’s happened in the past is it is up to people what they do with it, but my intention would be to donate my councillor salary to local charities.”
Ms Dunbar, the deputy leader of the SNP group on Aberdeen City Council, was elected the new Donside MSP with more than 50% of the vote.
Following the declaration, she said she would “stick up for folk” no matter how they had voted in last week’s election.
“There is going to be an awful lot of work ahead to make sure Aberdeen Donside is represented and anyone who knows me knows I have quite a loud mouth and don’t tend to let go of things,” she said.
“I’ve represented my ward for 14 years and they are not scared to tell you when you’ve done something wrong. I am a big believer in sticking up for folk and I will continue to do that.”