Ring­ing in changes at coun­cil elec­tions

Half of the mem­bers in towns are stand­ing down

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Douglas Dickie

There will be a chang­ing of the guard in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang pol­i­tics this year with no less than six sit­ting coun­cil­lors stand­ing down.

That means re­gard­less of which party tri­umphs, at least half the ar­eas coun­cil­lors will be new after the votes are counted on May 4.

All mem­bers stand­ing down are from the rul­ing Labour Party, in­clud­ing coun­cil leader Ed­die McAvoy, who rep­re­sents Ruther­glen Cen­tral and North.

De­pute Provost Pam Clearie and former provost Rus­sell Clearie will step down, as will brothers De­nis and Brian McKenna.

Those five have all been on the coun­cil since the 1990s. Richard Tul­lett is also stand­ing down hav­ing first won a seat in 2008.

Only Ger­ard Killen ( Ruther­glen South) and Wal­ter Bro­gan (Cam­bus­lang East) will seek re- elec­tion, with Coun­cil­lor Killen set to stand in Ruther­glen Cen­tral and North.

Martin Len­non, who has cam­paigned for Labour in the past, will stand along­side Coun­cil­lor Killen in Ruther­glen Cen­tral and North.

The party have yet to se­lect three can­di­dates, but Fern­hill cam­paigner Mar­garet Cowie will stand in Ruther­glen South and Mar­garet Walker, daugh­ter of David Walker, will stand in Cam­bus­lang West.

Coun­cil­lor Tul­lett, who has also stood down as sec­re­tary of the lo­cal branch, said: “I am sure that all the can­di­dates will be work­ing hard in the run up to the coun­cil elec­tions in May and will put across a pos­i­tive mes­sage.”

The SNP will an­nounce all their can­di­dates na­tion­ally at the same time.

How­ever, coun­cil­lors Gor­don Clark ( Ruther­glen Cen­tral and North), Clare McColl (Cam­bus­lang West) and Chris­tine Deanie (Cam­bus­lang East) will all be seek­ing re-elec­tion.

The SNP will be seen as favourites to take con­trol of the coun­cil from Labour, but Coun­cil­lor Clark urged cau­tion with over four months still to go un­til polling day.

He said: “Lo­cal elec­tions have lower turnouts and with the vot­ing sys­tem, the arith­metic makes it harder for the SNP.

“Opin­ion polls sug­gest we should win, but they said that in 2012. It will not be easy.”

Ruther­glen is the only place in South La­nark­shire with Lib­eral Demo­crat rep­re­sen­ta­tion and Coun­cil­lor Robert Brown has con­firmed he will stand again in Ruther­glen South.

The rest of the can­di­dates will be de­cided over the next few weeks.

Coun­cil­lor Brown said the party were con­fi­dent after dozens of coun­cil gains in the past few months across the UK.

He added: “We are in­tend­ing to stand 20 can­di­dates across South La­nark­shire for the first time. This is the big­gest Lib Dem chal­lenge for a num­ber of years.”

The Con­ser­va­tives have en­joyed an in­crease in sup­port across Scot­land but have never held a coun­cil seat in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang since South La­nark­shire came in to be­ing.

Tay­lor Muir is stand­ing in Ruther­glen Cen­tral and North hav­ing con­tested the last Gen­eral and Scot­tish elec­tions.

New face John MacMil­lan will stand for the party in Cam­bus­lang East while former West Coats pupil Ann Le Blond is the can­di­date for Cam­bus­lang West. No can­di­date has been picked yet for Ruther­glen South.

Mr Muir said a vote for his party would not be wasted: “Peo­ple in ev­ery area of Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang should know that plac­ing a num­ber one be­side their lo­cal Scot­tish Con­ser­va­tive and Union­ist can­di­date will give them a real chance of get­ting elected this time.”

The Green Party are also set to stand in all four Ruther­glen seats with former SSP sec­re­tary David McCle­mont rep­re­sent­ing the party in Cam­bus­lang East.

Mr McCle­mont said: “With South La­nark­shire likely to see a power strug­gle be­tween Labour and the SNP, Green coun­cil­lors elected in May could be in po­si­tions of in­flu­ence.”


Stand­ing down Rus­sell Clearie is one of six Labour coun­cil­lors in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang who will not stand in this year’s coun­cil elec­tions

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