Cen­tral North set for big shake-up

Fewer seats and vet­er­ans to stand down

East Kilbride News - - ELECTION SPECIAL - Mark Pirie

East Kilbride Cen­tral North is set for a shake-up – with long-stand­ing coun­cil­lors choos­ing not to stand.

There will now be three in­stead of four coun­cil­lors in the ward and, with Anne Maggs of the SNP and Labour’s Chris Thomp­son step­ping down, new mem­bers are guar­an­teed.

The two can­di­dates the SNP have put for­ward are ex­pe­ri­enced coun­cil­lor Sheena Ward­haugh and new face Hugh Macdon­ald.

Ms Ward­haugh has been Ms Maggs’ ward part­ner for 10 years and de­pute leader of the SNP coun­cil group for the last four and hopes to re­tain her seat.

“I have been priv­i­leged to serve in my ward for 10 years and wish to con­tinue to do so,” she said.

“I have been ed­u­ca­tion spokesper­son since the first day I was elected and look for­ward to clos­ing the at­tain­ment gap and ex­tend­ing early years pro­vi­sion.”

Mr Macdon­ald has many years of ex­pe­ri­ence in lo­cal gov­ern­ment and an ex­ten­sive so­cial work back­ground.

He be­lieves his skills will sup­port res­i­dents to en­sure their care needs are as­sessed and met.

“Hav­ing cam­paigned in the area I am aware of the con­cerns of res­i­dents and wish to be able to rep­re­sent them in achiev­ing pos­i­tive out­comes,” he con­tin­ued.

“I am de­lighted to have the en­dorse­ment of Anne Maggs and prom­ise to work very hard to sup­port our peo­ple.”

Labour have gone for the same strat­egy with Alice-Marie Mitchell – who has been a coun­cil­lor for more than two decades – and Joe Fa­gan.

Ms Mitchell was first elected in 1996 when the area was known as East Mains and wants to con­tinue to help the pub­lic.

“I have taken up thou­sands of cases on be­half of my con­stituents,” she said.

“I have worked with some amaz­ing, ded­i­cated peo­ple to make a dif­fer­ence in our com­mu­nity – from the pub­lic ser­vants we de­pend on to de­liver lo­cal ser­vices to the vol­un­teers who are the lifeblood of East Kilbride’s char­i­ties.

“For the past five years, I have chaired the East Kilbride area com­mit­tee, award­ing com­mu­nity grants and mon­i­tor­ing the per­for­mance of lo­cal schools and ser­vices.

“I have backed the liv­ing wage for coun­cil work­ers, new kitchens and bath­rooms in our coun­cil hous­ing stock and, with the re­cent com­ple­tion of Halfmerke Pri­mary, the re­build­ing of ev­ery school in my ward. Even in tough times for our town, it is pos­si­ble to change things for the bet­ter.”

Mr Fa­gan, who is stand­ing for the first time, wants to help his “home”.

“The part of East Kilbride I am seek­ing to rep­re­sent is my home,” he said. “It’s where I grew up, went to school and got my first job. It’s where I de­cided I could make a dif­fer­ence by get­ting in­volved in the com­mu­nity.

“I backed the cam­paign to save the town cen­tre post of­fice, I helped make East Kilbride a Fair­trade Town and now I am fight­ing for bet­ter bus ser­vices and in­vest­ment in our rail­way.

“Pub­lic trans­port should be a pub­lic ser­vice. As a coun­cil­lor, I will sup­port new coun­cil hous­ing and an in­crease in the so­cial care bud­get. I will stand up to the SNP gov­ern­ment in Ed­in­burgh, op­pos­ing their cuts to our coun­cil and de­mand­ing a fairer deal for our town.”

Dar­ren Clyde will be bat­tling to claim the seat for the Con­ser­va­tives and the NHS nurse has set health as his fo­cus if elected.

“East Kilbride is a rel­a­tively healthy town but one as­pect has al­ways trou­bled me and that is the very def­i­nite link be­tween poverty and sick­ness,” he said.

“I want to make our town the health­i­est in Scot­land. When I speak to the peo­ple of East Kilbride they want prac­ti­cal help with ev­ery­day prob­lems.

“At coun­cil level, they want ac­tion on anti-so­cial be­hav­iour, roads and trans­port. The rail ser­vice to our town does not re­flect the pop­u­la­tion size and a two-track ser­vice is long over­due.”

John Rin­toul of the Lib­eral Democrats wants to bring a new look to an area tra­di­tion­ally dom­i­nated by Labour and the SNP.

“I will bring a fresh per­spec­tive and en­ergy to a coun­cil too con­cen­trated on a back-and-forth of two par­ties,” he said.

“I have lived the ma­jor­ity of my life in East Kilbride Cen­tral North.

“Sev­eral high-pro­file cases of bul­ly­ing have been brought to my at­ten­tion. Hav­ing only left the school­ing sys­tem three years ago, I am more than aware of the is­sues sur­round­ing bul­ly­ing in the schools of East Kilbride. It is time the schools are held ac­count­able.”

James Thorn­bury of the Greens said: “This elec­tion is about your needs. While some can­di­dates may want to cam­paign on na­tional is­sues be­yond South La­nark­shire, our com­mu­nity needs coun­cil­lors who will lis­ten and act on the lo­cal needs of lo­cal peo­ple.

“Po­lit­i­cal grand­stand­ing is not for me – I’m a can­di­date be­cause I want to do the hard work that will make your life bet­ter.

“As a long-term carer for my el­derly father, I know the im­por­tance of hav­ing some­one to turn to when lo­cal ser­vices fall short. I want the peo­ple in my ward to have an ad­vo­cate they know they can call on for help, no matter the prob­lem – from im­prov­ing refuse col­lec­tion to or­gan­is­ing as­sis­tance for health and so­cial care.

“If you elect me I will be push­ing for in­vest­ment in lo­cal busi­nesses along­side so­cial hous­ing and af­ford­able child­care.”

Shops and ser­vices St Leonards Square

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.