By-elec­tion

Vot­ers go to polls in Novem­ber

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Dou­glas Dickie

Vot­ers in Ruther­glen Cen­tral and North will go to the polls in a by-elec­tion on Novem­ber 23 after Ger­ard Killen MP re­signed as a coun­cil­lor.

Mr Killen had vowed to stand down from his role after win­ning the Ruther­glen and Hamil­ton West seat in June’s gen­eral elec­tion.

Vot­ers in Ruther­glen Cen­tral and North will go to the polls in a by-elec­tion on Novem­ber 23 after Ger­ard Killen MP re­signed as a coun­cil­lor.

Mr Killen had vowed to stand down from his role after win­ning the Ruther­glen and Hamil­ton West seat from the SNP in June’s gen­eral elec­tion.

He handed in his res­ig­na­tion let­ter to chief ex­ec­u­tive Lind­say Free­land on Fri­day, a move that trig­gered the by-elec­tion.

The seat is likely to be closely fought. The SNP and Tories hold the other two seats in the ward and Labour will be keen not to lose a coun­cil­lor.

After con­firm­ing he was stand­ing down, Mr Killen said: “I would like to thank my coun­cil col­leagues across all par­ties, the em­ploy­ees at South La­nark­shire Coun­cil and, most of all, the peo­ple in this com­mu­nity who have put their trust in me and con­tinue to do so.

“It has been a priv­i­lege to rep­re­sent Ruther­glen as a lo­cal coun­cil­lor since Fe­bru­ary 2013 but, hav­ing been elected as an MP in June this year, it’s only fair that the peo­ple of Ruther­glen Cen­tral and North get the op­por­tu­nity to choose a new elected rep­re­sen­ta­tive to stand up for their in­ter­ests at a coun­cil level.

“I would like to wish all of the can­di­dates well for what I hope will be a com­radely by­elec­tion cam­paign and I wish my suc­ces­sor all the best for the fu­ture.”

Labour are set to con­firm who will stand for them this week.

Martin Len­non stood along­side Mr Killen in May’s lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tion, but failed to be elected.

The SNP al­ready have Ja­nine Ca­likes rep­re­sent­ing them in the ward. Former coun­cil­lor Gordon Clark, who lost out in May, has in­di­cated his de­sire to be a can­di­date but no de­ci­sion has been made.

Jared Wark won a seat for the Con­ser­va­tives in the ward in May. Tay­lor Muir is likely to stand for the Tories this time hav­ing stood in Ruther­glen at pre­vi­ous elec­tions.

The Lib­eral Democrats have con­firmed their can­di­date.

Ellen Bryson, a former ge­og­ra­phy teacher at Stonelaw, stood in the Cam­bus­lang East ward in May.

Last week she was given the back­ing of the Lib Dem’s Scot­tish leader, Wil­lie Ren­nie, who vis­ited the ward to cam­paign.

Ms Bryson said: “It was great to have Wil­lie Ren­nie back­ing our cam­paign and he was very well re­ceived by lo­cal peo­ple in Bankhead and the west end.

“As far as I am con­cerned, lo­cal coun­cil elec­tions are all about lo­cal is­sues and we got a lot of mat­ters raised rang­ing from traf­fic and park­ing is­sues, graf­fiti and over­hang­ing trees to dog foul­ing and the main­te­nance of houses.”

The Scot­tish Greens have also con­firmed they will field a can­di­date. Brian Fin­lay stood for the party in Ruther­glen South last time around.

Star power Ellen Bryson, front, called on Scot­tish Lib­eral Demo­crat leader Wil­lie Ren­nie to help with her cam­paign

Win­ning feel­ing But Killen is step­ping down from his ward after just four months

Re­turn? Gordon Clark has in­di­cated his wish to re­turn to front­line pol­i­tics

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