A MARINE conservation champion has launched a bold bid to become the area's next member of Parliament.

David Nairn, who is a marine ecologist and commercial skipper, is the Scottish Green candidate as the area prepares to go to the polls on December 12.

The Fairlie man has played an active role in the Friends of the Firth of Clyde campaign and is also heavily involved in the monitoring of marine life on the Clyde.

The 47-year-old said he decided to run in a bid to make his voice heard on climate change and the impact it is already having on our area.

He said: "As far as the environment is concerned everyone needs to work together and needs to put political point scoring aside if we are going to change anything for the better.

"I just don't think other parties have realistic propositions for tackling this emergency - the global temperature is rising and we are already in trouble.

"We can even see the effects of it on the Clyde with huge algae blooms and the jelly fish population exploding.

"You are also seeing changing patterns with common dolphins in Scotland too."

The candidate is currently campaigning for a full environmental impact appraisal of the Hunterston oil rig decommissioning yard proposals.

He said: "The developers’ proposals threaten the existence of rare seagrass and native oyster beds.

"I believe Ayrshire and Hunterston is the wrong choice for this activity and am encouraging alternative proposals that are better aligned with the environmental sensitivities of the area.

"I believe there are massive opportunities for job creation and huge potential for positive social impacts developed in accordance with Scottish Green New Deal aspirations."

David manages Clyde Porpoise Community Interest Company, a grassroots community project engaged in long term marine mammal and environmental monitoring of the Clyde.

As well as an active community councillor in Fairlie, he also works with bodies such as Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme and Scottish Coastal Communities Network.

He will go up against four other candidates in the forthcoming Westminster elections for the North Ayrshire seat, Patricia Gibson (SNP), David Rocks (Conservatives), Cameron Gilmore (Labour) and Louise Young (Liberal Democrats).

Meanwhile North Ayrshire Council's chief executive is urging residents to send postal votes early to beat the busy Christmas period.

With the general election due to take place on December 12, returning officer Craig Hatton says ballots need to be sent as soon as possible to allow for the Royal Mail's busiest time of year.

This will be the first Parliamentary Election held in December since 1923, which Mr Hatton says presents its own set of challenges.

He said: “We have been well aware that there was a strong possibility for an early election, so we put in place the foundations to ensure we were in a strong position if one was called.

“People can also still register to vote by visiting www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. The process takes about five minutes."

The deadline for registering to vote is Tuesday November 26, while the deadline for registering a new postal vote and postal proxy applications is 5pm on the same date.

For applications to vote by proxy, not postal proxy or emergency proxies, the deadline is 5pm on Wednesday December 4.

Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm on December 12.