8th June 2017
With campaigning for the 2017 general election entering the final week, the Reformer put all the candidates in Rutherglen and Hamilton West on the spot.
The six were quizzed on the issues affecting the community as they look to secure votes over the next seven days.
QUESTION 1 What would you do to get the best deal for Rutherglen and Cambuslang, two towns that have benefited from EU investment in the past?
Liberal Democrats want a public vote on the terms of Brexit with an option to change our mind if they are damaging.
The Brexit process, initiated by the Tories because of toxic divisions in their party, has been an incompetent disaster from start to finish.
Liberal Democrats want to stay in the European Union or as close to it as possible.
With the savings made from Brexit it will be possible for us to replicate EU funding programmes after we leave the EU.
I would campaign to ensure that the UK Government replicates these EU funding programmes as well as ensuring that current local initiatives remain fully funded for their duration.
Whether remain or leave, it’s in all of our interests to secure the best deal. Voting SNP will strengthen Scotland’s hand in the Brexit process.
I will continue the fight to protect jobs and our local economy, and keep pressure on the government to commit to continued future structural funding.
Labour will fight to ensure the best Brexit deal and the Scottish Labour manifesto includes a pledge for jobs-first Brexit.
We will fight for anti-austerity politics throughout the UK, unlike the SNP who simply want to use Brexit as another excuse to call for a second divisive independence referendum.
Leaving the EU presents both challenges and opportunities for the UK.
The negotiations will require strong leadership and only Theresa May as prime minister can provide that.
This can be a great opportunity for the whole of Scotland as well as Rutherglen and Cambuslang. I
believe that with Theresa May in charge we can emerge stronger, with a new partnership with our European partners.
EU Investment – government funds will continue to be available for investment, after Brexit, but from the British and Scottish governments rather than the EU.
This will give much better taxpayer value for money than the current situation where we give the EU £1,of which about half goes to other EU countries, 10p is lost to bureaucracy and 5p is lost in fraud leaving only 35p to spend.
QUESTION 2 Cambuslang Jobcentre has been earmarked for closure. If elected, what kind of representation will you make during the consultation process?
I would press for a continued presence of the job centre and also the police station and banks and look at options such as a multi-purpose advice and rights centre, or the council providing an employment service for the government.
Statistics show that some areas in Cambuslang are the most deprived in the country.
To help people get back in to work the job centre must be kept open.
Being local reduces the cost of travel to the job centre.
This is money that could be used travelling to a job interview.
Although the government has refused to hold a consultation, I organised a parliamentary petition – signed by hundreds of constituents - calling for one.
I’ve met with ministers, and raised the issue in parliament many times.
Keeping Cambuslang Jobcentre open is high on my priorities, and I’ll continue to oppose closure.
The job centre in Cambuslang is a vital service in the community.
Labour opposes these closures and realises their importance and if I am fortunate enough to be elected your MP, I will use every opportunity to make clear the importance of this service.
We must do everything we can to help people get the support they need and that includes protecting lifeline services like the Cambuslang Jobcentre.
Services like this are moving towards a more modern platform. I would want to represent the people in the area but also make sure that the service was offering the best solution.
As the local MP I will lobby hard on behalf of your constituents to retain the job centre.