Wednesday May 3rd 2017
Here are all the candidates standing in the Midlothian East ward. Three candidates will be elected as councillors. The methood of voting differs in a Local Election so click HERE for a quick reminder.
Helen Armstrong – Greens
I moved to Midlothian (Penicuik), with my husband and son, eleven years ago.
In 2008 I ran a campaign to persuade Midlothian Council not to build houses on the playing field of my son’s primary school. Although we ultimately failed in our aim, I learnt a lot about the workings of Midlothian Council. I have also been actively involved with a primary school parent council (which I chaired for 3 years) and the Penicuik High School parents’ association, as well as being a member of the Penicuik Community Development Trust. My interests include hill walking, cycling and gardening as well as approaches to improving both physical and mental health.
I am an ecologist by training and, after many years working for various public bodies carrying out research, and providing advice, on land management, I am now a part-time consultant, advising on the management of woodland and upland habitats. In my spare time I campaign for better land management of the Scottish uplands. I have had a lifelong interest in Green politics, finally joining the Scottish Green Party in 2014 when my son was finishing primary school and I had a little more spare time.
I think the Green party is the only party that understands the connections between economic, environmental, social and personal health and wellbeing. Although it is important to have a thriving economy, it is equally important that living and working conditions foster healthy communities and healthy people. Only the Green party has policies that can deliver all of these.
Kenneth Baird – SNP
Kenneth has lived locally for many years with his wife. They have three young children.
His career has been in customer relations which well prepares him for dealing with the concerns of the people of this ward in a professional and sympathetic way.
As you might expect with young children, his passion is education and he wants to continue the progress being made here in Midlothian with improvement to both the quality education our young people receive and the hugely increased number passing their exams at all levels.
Kenneth is deeply concerned at the impact of Tory Westminster budget cuts which result in local budgets being cut or at best frozen. This leaves the most vulnerable in our society at risk and he is determined to do everything that can be done to protect essential services.
Louise D’Arcy Greig – SNP
Louise D’Arcy-Greig was born and brought up in the Midlothian East Ward and attended a local primary and high school. She has been a volunteer worker in the community for the past 20 years and is responsible for the running of a successful local teenage youth group, helping youngsters to build teamwork and leadership skills. Currently Louise works as a learning assistant in a local primary school with children who have additional support needs.
Louise is a strong advocate of adult education who is currently enrolled with the Open University and in the past has participated in local community based education courses, as well as supporting the Children’s University programme run by Queen Margaret’s University.
If elected, Louise is committed to being ready to listen to the needs and concerns of the local community and will work tirelessly to ensure their voices are listened to and their views respected.
John Hackett – Labour
Born and raised in Australia, I immigrated to Scotland 12 years ago, settling to Midlothian in 2008. I live in the local Ward with my partner and our two daughters Rosie and Ellie who both attend King’s Park Primary School.
I am passionate about our local area and have a strong track record of working with others to deliver improvements in our communities.
I am one of twelve Community Councillors on the Eskbank and Newbattle Community Council, representing resident’s views on issues such as planning, traffic management, the environment and other local issues. Prior to this role I was Chairman of the Dalkeith & District Community Council for two years.
I am Vice Chair and former Treasurer of One Dalkeith, a new initiative to create a Community Development Trust for the communities of Woodburn, Dalkeith, Eskbank and Newbattle. Through One Dalkeith I have worked in partnership with other local volunteers, council officers, local businesses and other organisations to deliver community events and local improvements.
I joined the Board of Melville Housing Association in 2013. Melville has nearly 2000 housing units in Midlothian and Lanarkshire, managing a Turnover of around £8-10 million per year. I contribute to the strategic decision making of the Association, working in partnership with other Board Members and staff. Prior to joining Melville, I have almost ten years experience working for a range of housing, social work and community service organisations.
In 2014 I worked with local residents to establish MIDSAFE, a community group campaigning and advising residents on Community Safety and Crime Prevention issues.
I have worked for UNISON Scotland since 2008 as a Regional Officer. I work closely with people employed in local government, NHS, the community and voluntary sector and other vital public services. In my role I support local trade union members, lead negotiations on pay and conditions and campaign for improvements to our local services.
With 20 years of experience volunteering in the community and labour movement, I believe I have the right skills and experience to be a strong voice for the residents of Midlothian East. If elected in May, I am committed to working closely with local residents to make real improvements to our local communities.
Robert Hogg – Independent
Over the last 5 years we have had an SNP administration in charge in Midlothian and a Labour opposition.
Have you noticed any serious changes in your communities in these 5 years? Yes there have been cuts to services mainly in the last five years, but surely both SNP and Labour should have been working together to lessen the affects of these cuts on our communities instead they have fought each other throughout these last 5 years while your commuinties have suffered.
It’s time to change the way your communities are served and that is by making sure your local Councillors are accountable to you the public rather than to their political masters.
Your serving Councillors have not served you well over these years and it is time for a change: Vote in someone who cares about your community.
Planning – I will help safeguard local communities from bad planning applications that affect your communities and don’t reflect the proper infrastructure that your community expects with such applications. I will also fight to have the contributions from developers used to provide badly needed facilities in your community.
Midlothian Council – I will work closely with like minded councillors and council officials on the complex issues that affect your
community and Midlothian’s communities.
Environment – I will help to tackle the eyesore which is blighting our communities, in the built up communities or our rural villages.
The dumping of rubbish is a major concern for local people.
Parks – I will fight to help secure your local parks, as they are so important to the local community
Funding – Community groups throughout the ward are under a lot of pressure due to the financial cuts brought on by the council due to Austerity cuts. I will work closely to help groups affected.
Education – I will work closely with education deptartments to help raise attainment levels in our communities, to try and make sure your children or grandchildren get the qualifications they deserve.
Peter Smaill – Conservatives
I am standing so that voters can send a message to the nationalists: forget a second referendum and put Midlothian first. The SNP Government is cutting our funding in real terms, so efficiency is the main way to protect services.
With over four years experience as Chair of the Audit Committee of our Council, I want to offer the insights gained to the electors so that a cost-conscious Midlothian maintains key activities. Now that Council Tax is being raised, voters will be looking to avoid waste, and ensure responsible levels of housing development with better infrastructure planned in advance.Tweet Share on Facebook