Wednesday May 3rd 2017
Here are all the candidates standing in the Midlothian South ward. Three candidates will be elected as councillors. The methood of voting differs in a Local Election so click HERE for a quick reminder.
Jason Ferry – Independent
I read that Candidates from Political Parties will now make the issues that matter most to you their election priorities and pledges. As a voter I would be asking them why do you only think about your communities at election time and why haven’t you and your respective political parties put the residents of Midlothian first in the last five years.
Unlike other candidates within my Ward, I don’t need to make rash promises to put our community first as I have been doing that already as a volunteer over the last seven years; as chair of Newtongrange Community Council and as a member of many other local voluntary associations. I have challenged many local and national institutions for the benefit of our community and I will continue to do so and, should you vote for me as your preferred choice, I will work hard to make sure that other Councillors make this their priority too. Communities need to be at the forefront of local Government decisions and their voices need to be heard over the background noise of National Politics.
I am the only candidate within Midlothian South who can truthfully say “I will work for you, only you” as I have no other party or outside associations influencing my actions. This is the benefit of voting for an Independent candidate.
With other successful Independent Councillors we can bring true community representation to Midlothian Council but we need you to put us there. I would ask that you vote for Jason Ferry and other Independent candidates as number 1 on May 4th
Cath Johnstone – SNP
In my five years representing you in Midlothian Council, the last two as Council Leader, SNP Midlothian have worked hard to put in place solid foundations to make our circumstances better. Before the 2012 elections I worked as a housing officer a job. These skills were put to great use working to establish sustainable realistic plans for a brighter future for all residents – improving health outcomes, education inequalities, employment opportunities and the environment.
I grew up and went to school in Midlothian and live in Newtongrange. My children and grandchildren live in Midlothian. We live in challenging times and like most folk I have concerns about our future that is why I promise to commit to making Midlothian a better place and ensure I get the best value for the people I live beside not just my family but you and your family.
Jim Muirhead – Labour
I have lived here all my life and I care passionately about Gorebridge and the wider Midlothian area. We have been dealt some bad hands over the years with the decline in mining and other industries. It has not been easy to deal with the aftermath of this and to adjust to a different future for our town.
I have represented Gorebridge on the Council since 2003. I was shocked when I visited Gorebridge Primary School shortly after that so see the appalling state of the buildings, which had changed little in the 30 odd years since I had attended there. I made it a priority to make sure that this was to make sure that children in Gorebridge were being educated in buildings that were fit for purpose. We now have 5 new schools in the Gorebridge area that help to give our kids the best start in life.
The next step needs to be a new High School for the Gorebridge area.
We also had pockets of serious anti-social behaviour and drug dealing. I was involved in finding ways of dealing with this and eventually the Council decided to pay for an additional 14 front line police officers dedicated to fighting these issues in co-operation with the Council. This showed great progress until funding was withdrawn at the start of April by the SNP administration, taking all 14 officers away. This is one of the craziest decisions the Council has ever taken and If elected I will fight to have this vital service re-instated.
I am a firm believer in a person’s right to have a home that they can afford. Building Council housing is a vital part of that. Labour built almost 900 new council houses in the last 5 years we were in charge, almost 250 in Gorebridge. The SNP have built only 188 in the last 5 years. Labour will build up to another 1,000 over the next 5 years and we will make sure these are let to hard pressed local families who can look after them.
If re-elected on 4th May I will continue to do my best for the people of Gorebridge and the rest of Midlothian South.
Kieran Munro – Conservatives
Politics has been exceptionally divisive as of late and our county desperately requires new leadership. The SNP have proven that, with them, constitutional argument will always come first. Labour are too internally divided themselves to govern effectively but there is another option. By voting for me to be your councillor, even if you have never voted conservative before, your community’s priorities will come first, every single time.
I’ll work for all constituents and keep you informed at community meetings, mailings and surgeries.
A vote for me is a vote to put Midlothian first.
Bryan Pottinger – Labour
I have lived in Midlothian all my life, and for the past 30 years, my wife, Michelle and I have lived in the same Newtongrange house. I have years of experience in the private sector followed by commitment to the voluntary sector and anti-poverty project work as well as 14 years as a Midlothian Councillor.
I believe in always being a strong advocate for my constituents, pro-active with and for Community Groups. I am passionate about protecting our much needed services and facilities in our community.
I am hoping that I can once again give further dedicated service for Newtongrange, Temple & Carrington and also including serving North Middleton and the growing town of Gorebridge, although the last five years has been in opposition I have managed to support the area and hope to do so much more with Labour back in power again in Midlothian
Always active and focussed on my Communities with my best attendance and support to the Newtongrange Community Council & to the Children’s Gala day Committee, where I was particularly pleased to deliver a safe and much needed “crowning area” in our park in time for their historic gala day centenary 2013.
I’m always constantly supporting our fantastic community spirit. I have championed environmental improvements in Newtongrange, worked extensively with local groups and organisations to develop our area (Newtongrange in particular). There is a large task ahead for Newtongrange Town Centre to have a real positive regeneration plan and it needs experienced and committed Councillors to move this agenda forward in real effective partnership with all the stakeholders and our Community.
Finally, some see all elections as being about national or constitutional matters, perhaps they are uncomfortable about being judged on their local record. I know if you elect a Labour Councillor you get a local Community Champion and these Local Elections should be about our local issues such as Council services, housing, schools, health services, and good local jobs.
Ellen Scott – SNP
I have lived in Gorebridge for many years with my family. My father was a miner. I understand the difficulties ex-mining communities like Gorebridge and Newtongrange have suffered and believe that this is our time to make it a better place to live, work and enjoy.
I have recently retired after working 23 years with the University of Edinburgh, I have been an volunteer for many years as Chair of Gorebridge Community Cares. Working in partnership with our SNP Councillor we have restored the Auld Gala Park to a place where children can play in a safe, wide, open and green space. Improvements are in the pipeline for other parks and sporting facilities!
Gorebridge is a friendly community that we should be proud of. A place where you can enjoy your leisure time – whether it be walking, cycling or visiting Gore Glen, Vogrie Park or any of our lovely walks. A place where our young people have facilities to keep them busy and active. A healthier place because people’s life chances and education have improved. A place to grow in every way.
Malcolm Spaven – Greens
I’ve lived in Midlothian for eleven years. I work for the renewable energy industry as a consultant, working from home at Gladhouse.
I’ve been a member of Moorfoot Community Council for three years, dealing with planning issues, development of hydro energy and community-based broadband. I’m also active with the Midlothian Federation of Community Councils, developing their responses to the local and strategic development plans and to particular planning proposals.
I’m standing as a candidate for the Greens because I‘ve seen the enormous concern from a wide spectrum of people across Midlothian that the county is on an unsustainable path, with thousands of new private houses being built when the pressing need is to provide social rented housing for people who already live here.
The system is massively skewed in favour of the speculative property developers. If we don’t turn this juggernaut of over-development around we will end up with Midlothian as a commuter belt with houses and town centres empty all day, roads more and more clogged with cars, and many more Midlothian people left behind with poor job and housing prospects and inadequate social, medical and school facilities.
This broken system is also swallowing up good quality farm land and open countryside that we should be protecting so that we can grow food for local markets, keep our air and water clean and have easy access to open spaces for a healthy lifestyle.
The Greens say that we should stop allocating more and more land for housing in Midlothian and that we should meet the needs of the people who already live in Midlothian first.
Much of this requires action at national level which is why the trebling of the number of Green MSPs at the last Holyrood election was a major step forward. But we can also do a lot more at local council level to generate extra funds to pay for local services, to find sites for new council houses and to stop new housing developments being built without any meaningful facilities in them.
We need a new approach. More of the same is just not good enough. Our one Green councillor, Ian Baxter, has achieved a lot in five years. But to really make a difference to the future of Midlothian we need several more Green councillors.Tweet Share on Facebook