Coun­cil elec­tions a chance to have your say

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

They say that all pol­i­tics is lo­cal - but, to para­phrase an­other fa­mous phrase, some pol­i­tics is more lo­cal than oth­ers.

That is cer­tainly the case with lo­cal, coun­cil elec­tions.

While the past few years have been dom­i­nated by ar­gu­ments and de­bates over Scot­land’s place in the United King­don and the UK’s place in the Euro­pean Union, the de­ci­sions that af­fect our ev­ery­day lives are made a lot closer to home.

But in one of life’s great para­doxes, it sim­ply does not get vot­ers off their feet and to the bal­lot box.

Turnout at the coun­cil elec­tions in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang in 2012 was a lit­tle over 38 per cent. In com­par­i­son, last year 54.3 per cent turned out for the Scot­tish elec­tion while in 2015 nearly 70 per cent turned out for the Gen­eral Elec­tion.

And yet the is­sues that get peo­ple speak­ing the most are of­ten those dealt with at coun­cil level: bins, street light­ing, the state of our roads, lack of ameni­ties and dog foul­ing. Th­ese are just a few ex­am­ples.

This week we start our cov­er­age of the forth­com­ing coun­cil elec­tions on May 4. We will fo­cus on a dif­fer­ent ward over the next four edi­tions. In­stead of let­ting the politi­cians, or would-be-politi­cians, lead the de­bate, we will be out ask­ing you, the vot­ers, what you want to see in your area be­fore putting the par­ties on the spot. We start this week in Cam­bus­lang West and you can read what was said on pages 10 and 11.

Else­where, it was a plea­sure to at­tend the of­fi­cial launch of the new R: evolve shop on Cam­bus­lang Main Street last week and you can read more about the project on pages 24 and 25 in out Out and About fea­ture.

We also have a packed let­ters page on page 32.

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