Campbeltown Courier

Election candidates reveal their top priorities

With less than a week before the Scottish local government elections on Thursday May 5, we asked the candidates standing in the South Kintyre and Kintyre and the Islands wards what their top three priorities will be if they are elected


John Armour (Scottish National Party)

1 – The SNP council group proposed an extra £4 million for the council roads at the budget in February; this was rejected by the Conservati­vedominate­d administra­tion.

It also rejected our proposal for an environmen­t warden for this area.

SNP councillor­s will fight for extra funding for the roads network and ensure that decisions on how it is spent are made locally.

2 – We need a council which is closer to the communitie­s it serves and, in particular, where local decisions are made locally, by an area committee.

3 – My main priority is my constituen­ts and I will continue to fight for them with any issues that they contact me about and ensure that I continue to do everything to resolve these issues satisfacto­rily.

Rory Colville (Scottish Liberal Democrats)

Number one priority must be to grasp the economic challenges coming forward, while at the same time protecting the vulnerable in our community from financial harm.

Even if we cut carbon emission to zero, climate change will still be with us for years; all council decisions must be given a higher priority, ensuring all department­s make best use of technologi­cal, engineerin­g and nature-based solutions.

If Covid taught us anything, it is that care staff working in all spectrums are having to make impossible decisions, greater scrutiny and resources will be a priority if the national care plan is to succeed.

Donald Kelly (Independen­t)

1 – Infrastruc­ture: continue to lobby for: additional funding for the regenerati­on of Campbeltow­n town centre; investment in social housing/encouragin­g private developers to build in Campbeltow­n; new primary school; new public toilets; proper traffic management for Campbeltow­n town centre and housing schemes.

2 – Connectivi­ty: continue to push for better travel connection­s by land, sea and air; I have two petitions still live in the Scottish Parliament for a permanent solution to Rest and be Thankful and a fulltime ferry service.

3 – Community: I have supported the community with numerous projects and, if re-elected, will continue to work with the same proactive attitude, giving 110 per cent commitment whilst demonstrat­ing the common sense required to drive South Kintyre forward.

Tommy MacPherson (Scottish Conservati­ve and Unionist)

My priorities are to replace the one incumbent; two incompeten­t; three inept trio of sitting South Kintyre ward councillor­s who, for a decade, have negated their basic elected duties.

The community’s focus is on their elderly, infirm relatives’ home, respite and hospice care, their children’s schooling, their roads and paths, their bins, their green spaces and that their streets are not filthy with dog fouling.

I will give South Kintyre that strong, new, clear voice that has been lacking in our community.

Only a number one vote for me, on May 5, will get the focus back on local issues; local priorities.

Robin Currie (Scottish Liberal Democrats)

My first priority, if re-elected, would be to engage with communitie­s throughout the ward

South Kintyre – ward one

Kintyre and the Islands – ward two

so that their priorities become my priorities. It has been a difficult two years with the pandemic and not being able to meet people face-to-face. By working together, we will get what is required for our area.

Secondly, maintainin­g and enhancing council services is important even in difficult financial times.

And thirdly, I would lead on us building up a strong economy, assisting the various sectors, maintainin­g and attracting people, building houses and getting a speedy solution to the Rest and A83.

Jane Kelly (Scottish Labour Party)

My main priorities are education, housing and employment.

John McAlpine (Independen­t)

Having consulted with most people on the mainland over the past few weeks, my priorities are to:

1 – Provide good quality, affordable housing for young families.

2 – Support our fragile fishing industry and those who rely on it.

3 – Ensure the current government does not destroy our fish farming industry and the lives of the people working within it.

The current councillor­s within ward two have ignored the concerns of mainland people and will continue to do so if re-elected.

Islay has seen more than 100 new family homes built in the past five years. This is good; however, unfair.

Now is the time to redress the situation and I am the only person who will ensure we do this.

Dougie McFadzean (Scottish National Party)

If I am fortunate enough to be elected as your councillor I will:

1 – Prioritise your needs, thoughts and ideas, ensuring that your voices are heard and considered within the Argyll and Bute Council decision-making process. I will ensure Kintyre and the Islands punches above its weight.

2 – Grasp every opportunit­y to increase the availabili­ty of quality, affordable housing.

Young people, families and essential workers really struggle to find a home and I will do my best to improve this situation.

3 – Promote and empower the voluntary sector to work alongside our existing health and social care team to improve health and wellbeing.

Alec McNeilly (Scottish Conservati­ve and Unionist)

All local government services are priorities. Vital lifelines for our communitie­s and our most vulnerable.

£100 million has been taken out of Argyll and Bute’s budget over the last decade, a total disgrace and a savage attack on our communitie­s.

Building back from the pandemic, we must continue to fight for stronger investment in local government.

My three choices for the ward:

1 – Our lifeline ferries and the need for high quality roads to support our whisky industry.

2 – High quality housing developmen­t to retain our population.

3 – High speed broadband connection­s to attract new business.

Alastair Redman (Independen­t)

1 – Housing: Fight hard for more affordable housing for locals to both rent and buy.

2 – Education: Stand strong against plans to dramatical­ly reduce the number of our headteache­rs with the proposed ‘school clusters’ programme.

3 – Connectivi­ty: Continue to lobby for better ferries with more sailings to our islands and campaign for a long-term solution to the A83; work hard to get more investment in our local roads and pavements including tackling flooding issues; work with Royal Mail’s central management in order to get recent local slow deliveries of post back up to speed in many areas; push for action to improve our broadband speeds and mobile phone network coverage in every corner of the Kintyre and the Islands ward.

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