Elec­tion lat­est

Labour aim to stop SNP mak­ing gains

East Kilbride News - - FRONT PAGE - Mark Pirie

There is just over a fort­night to go un­til vot­ers in East Kilbride and Avon­dale re­turn to the polls to elect a new South La­nark­shire Coun­cil ad­min­is­tra­tion.

And we con­tinue our elec­tion build-up to­day by fea­tur­ing the East Kilbride Cen­tral North and East Kilbride Cen­tral South wards.

East Kilbride Cen­tral South could be one of the hard­est fought bat­tle­grounds be­tween the SNP and Labour in the town.

Cen­tral South and Cen­tral North are the only seats in East Kilbride in which Labour are field­ing two can­di­dates.

The party have cur­rent Cen­tral South coun­cil­lors Gerry Con­very and Su­san Kerr seek­ing re-elec­tion.

Ms Kerr be­came a coun­cil­lor in 2012 and the for­mer teacher has made im­prov­ing ed­u­ca­tion one of her core tar­gets.

“I was born and brought up in East Kilbride,” she said, “I’m mar­ried to for­mer lo­cal MSP Andy Kerr and have three daugh­ters.

“Be­fore be­com­ing a coun­cil­lor in May 2012 I was for­merly a pri­mary school teacher.

“As a teacher I saw that a good ed­u­ca­tion is vi­tal to the suc­cess and op­por­tu­nity of our young peo­ple.

“I am proud of the hard work and pas­sion that I have brought to my role as a coun­cil­lor and the sat­is­fac­tion that I get by ad­vo­cat­ing for and win­ning on be­half of lo­cal res­i­dents.

“I am seek­ing re-elec­tion to con­tinue to work on be­half of the peo­ple who live in The Mur­ray and West­wood area.

“Over the past five years I have worked tire­lessly on con­stituents’ be­half on lo­cal is­sues.

“And through­out this time I have de­liv­ered, through South La­nark­shire Coun­cil, on our key pledges such as the build­ing of new coun­cil houses and the con­tin­ued in­vest­ment in state-of-the-art pri­mary and sec­ondary schools.”

Mr Con­very first took this seat 22 years ago and said that he is stand­ing for re-elec­tion for the same rea­son he stood the first time – to help peo­ple.

“I get huge sat­is­fac­tion from solv­ing the prob­lems that af­fect our com­mu­ni­ties,” he said.

“It isn’t al­ways easy but I know that as a lo­cal coun­cil­lor I of­ten can get things done for peo­ple that they will strug­gle to sort them­selves.

“That’s the job and any­one who isn’t pre­pared to graft on be­half of their con­stituents shouldn’t con­sider en­ter­ing lo­cal pol­i­tics.

“It helps that I have a good deal of ex­pe­ri­ence in how a lo­cal author­ity works, as both an area man­ager at an­other lo­cal author­ity and in two decades as a South La­nark­shire coun­cil­lor.”

The SNP will be look­ing to in­crease their num­bers in Cen­tral South.

Cur­rent coun­cil­lor John An­der­son will be joined by Col­lette Steven­son, who will be stand­ing for the first time.

Mr An­der­son has held the seat for the past decade and wants to carry on his work in the area.

“I am ask­ing for your sup­port to al­low SNP coun­cil­lors to carry on work­ing in part­ner­ship with lo­cal groups on the things that matter to you,” he said.

“We want to make things bet­ter, we want to make East Kilbride a cleaner, safer place to live in.

“We will con­tinue to cam­paign for ac­tion to be taken on all lockup sites which have be­come the big­gest eye­sore in East Kilbride.

“This elec­tion re­ally mat­ters, please en­sure you use your vote and elect SNP coun­cil­lors with a proven track record in pro­vid­ing proper ef­fec­tive rep­re­sen­ta­tion for ev­ery­day prob­lems.

“Coun­cil­lors who will work closely with the new ded­i­cated ward com­mu­nity po­lice of­fi­cers to deal with those who are in­volved in anti-so­cial be­hav­iour ac­tiv­i­ties and ad­vo­cate tough ac­tion against those that blight our com­mu­nity with dog-foul­ing, lit­ter­ing our streets and fly-tip­ping.”

Ms Steven­son was born and raised in East Kilbride.

“My pri­or­ity is­sues are clear,” she said. “To en­sure we get the ac­tion we need we must open up the coun­cil to greater scru­tiny and ac­count­abil­ity.

“We need to close the at­tain­ment gap that leaves be­hind too many of our young peo­ple.

“I am con­cerned the coun­cil have not worked closely enough with the NHS to de­liver the so­cial­care needs of our older cit­i­zens.

“I want more done to sup­port car­ers.

“I want the coun­cil to do more to sup­port lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties and see the SNP plan to pro­vide ward ar­eas with £1 mil­lion over the next five years for lo­cal de­ci­sion-mak­ing as a great start.

“I am a hard worker and if elected will do my best to make a dif­fer­ence in the years ahead.”

Con­ser­va­tive Wil­lie Chalmers, who has lived in East Kilbride for 18 years, feels his party of­fer some­thing dif­fer­ent from the SNP and Labour.

“I have worked all my life in con­struc­tion and prop­erty main­te­nance,” he said.

“The Labour Party is pre­oc­cu­pied with its in­ter­nal wran­gling and the SNP ap­pear to have put all their ef­forts into a nev­eren­dum with pre­dictable re­sults – fall­ing ed­u­ca­tional stan­dards, a cash-strapped po­lice force, the Scot­tish econ­omy on the brink of re­ces­sion when the UK as a whole is thriv­ing.

“The area that wor­ries me most right now is ed­u­ca­tion.

“If we do not pre­pare our kids to reach as far as their abil­ity or their am­bi­tion will al­low them we will have failed a gen­er­a­tion. “I don’t want that. “If you don’t sup­port the SNP, please give me your sec­ond pref­er­ence to act as a strong op­po­nent to a sec­ond in­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum.”

Iain Hughes has called for peo­ple to vote for the Green Party as they bid to tackle poverty and so­cial hous­ing.

“In our 70th an­niver­sary year I’m un­der no il­lu­sion that ev­ery­thing can be ex­actly as it was when I was a boy,” he said.

“But peo­ple are shocked by hor­ri­ble child poverty un­der this coun­cil’s watch – and now a rise in food banks and home­less­ness.

“My main goals are tack­ling East Kilbride’s poverty shame and en­sur­ing more so­cial hous­ing with af­ford­able rents.

“We need to fight un­nec­es­sary cuts in pub­lic ser­vices that see us lose things like our li­braries in West­wood.”

I get huge sat­is­fac­tion from solv­ing prob­lems that af­fect our com­mu­nity...

Cen­tre The West­wood Square

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