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Nominations have closed for elections to local authorities across Scotland, which will take place on May 3.

Here in Aberdeenshire, 129 candidates are seeking to beome one of 68 elected councillors across 19 wards.

The SNP are the party with the largest number of candidates, having put forward 36 nominees. The Lib-Dems are next with 22.

Twenty seven candidates are standing as independents and there are also candidates from the Conservatives, Labour, the Greens and the Scottish Christian Party.

Here in Kincardine and Mearns, a total of ten candidates are standing in the Stonehaven and Lower Deeside ward (Ward 18) and seven each in North Kincardine (Ward 17) and Mearns (Ward 19).

The full list of candidates is: Stonehaven and Lower Deeside: Wendy Agnew (Conservative); Peter Bellarby (Lib-Dem); Raymond Christie (Labour); Graeme Clark (SNP); Robert Fergusson (SNP); David Fleming (Lib-Dem); Jeff Hutchison (Conservative); Bob Michie (Independent); Douglas Samways (Independent); Rachel Shanks (Green Party).

Mearns: Gill Bayfield (Labour); George Carr (Conservative); Jean Dick (SNP); Robert Forbes (SNP); Bill Howatson (Lib-Dem); David Nelson (Conservative); Dave Stewart (Independent).

North Kincardine: Alastair Bews (SNP); Alison Evision (Labour); Alan Inglis (SNP); Paul Melling (Lib-Dem); Ian Mollison (Lib-Dem); Tom Morrow (Christian Party); Carl Nelson (Conservative).

This newspaper will carry pre-election features in our issues of April 20 and April 27. In them we will give all the candidates a chance to say why they should have your vote.

We will focus on the Mearns and North Kincardine wards on April 20 and the Stonehaven and Lower Deeside ward a week later.

Candidates are invited to submit by email a maximum of 300 words and a picture to news@mearnsleader.com

The Mearns and North Kincardine candidates should ensure that their submissions are with us no later than 3pm on Friday, April 13 and the candidates in Stonehaven and Lower Deeside have until a week later, 3pm on Friday, April 20.