Debbi McCall – Penicuik
I moved from the Southside of Edinburgh to Penicuik 16 years ago with my daughter and have enjoyed being active in the community ever since. I’m a passionate advocate for social justice and was a volunteer at Penicuik Citizens Advice Bureau. This led to paid employment within Welfare Rights and I have also undertaken Court Representation prior to my current post within a Housing Association.
I have also been at the sharp end of Tribunal Representation, taking on the then Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith and enjoyed a high success rate for my clients, most of whom had a disability or were homeless or under threat of homelessness.
I have seen firsthand how the Tory Government’s Welfare Reforms have impacted on the most vulnerable members of community and how the SNP at Holyrood has managed to mitigate some of these reforms, such as the Bedroom tax.
I am looking forward to using my experience to help the people of Penicuik.
Joe Wallace – Penicuik
I am a resident of Penicuik and have three grown up sons and five grandchildren.
Before I retired I was an electrician to trade but I come from a long line of miners. My grandfathers, father and brother all worked underground.
My decision to stand again for Midlothian Council is motivated by my long held belief in social justice and fairness which I consider to be a part of Scottish culture but which has come under fierce attack from an uncaring right wing UK Government. I am determined to work for a more just and equitable society, for residents across Penicuik and Midlothian.
Like many Penicuik residents, when I was first elected I had great concerns regarding the town centre. I am delighted to have been able to be a part of the efforts to revitalise the area keep up the pace of continuing this work in the next Council.
Dianne Alexander – Bonnyrigg
Dianne lives in Rosewell with her husband. She is passionate about her community and is a member of Tyne and Esk Writers, and other Midlothian based cultural groups. She has started up a Midlothian WASPI group.
Dianne believes in the importance of putting her community first and in particular protecting our libraries and promoting our cultural heritage.
Commenting Dianne stated “There remains much work to do supporting the vulnerable in our society against the savage Tory budget cuts. If elected I am determined to work hard for my constituents and to ensure Midlothian keeps moving forward. I am fortunate that I am now in a position to give back time to the community in which I have lived, and which has given me so much pleasure, for many years.”
Dianne is a keen walker and cyclist and intends to promote these activities within the Council if elected
Colin Lawrie – Bonnyrigg
Colin is a nurse, working for the NHS at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, very happily married with 6 children and 5 grandchildren.
Colin, a keen biker, is also Vice President of an anti bullying support group called Bikes Against Bullies which has campaigned across Scotland which has been a great success. The faces of the children the group helps when all these bikers turn up to support them are priceless memories that make all the background work worthwhile.
“I will work hard for our community and for what I believe in and wish to have the chance to bring my passion for caring to the role of councillor. Within my role as a nurse i am an agent of change and efficiency. My role involves looking at best practice in other areas and introducing change for the benefit of the patients, staff and the organisation in general. I would like to use these skills for the benefit of our community.”
Colin Cassidy – Dalkeith
Colin was born and brought up in Dalkeith, where he lives with his wife and family, and is a well known face to many local people.
Over the years he has established a popular and prosperous tool hire company which his adult children now run with Colin taking a back seat. This has given him the opportunity to devote time to the community in which he lives. He is very community minded and believes in fairness and justice which are at the centre of his everyday actions.
His business skills will be an asset to the council chamber where Tory Westminster budget cuts are known to be causing so much distress and hardship locally. Colin believes there is a need to completely change the way the council delivers services in order for them to continue to meet our communities needs.
Gary Young – Dalkeith
Gary lives in Midlothian with his wife and two young children. Following a couple of years as a “postie” he has pursued a career in adult nursing and has worked as a Staff Nurse with NHS Lothian for the past 15 years.
Gary is an accomplished piper and much in demand. He is also a keen sportsman and enjoys most sports.
Given the experience of his current job he is very keen to ensure that the NHS continues to be protected, and that essential NHS services are maintained despite the damaging budget cuts imposed on the Scottish budget by the Tory Westminster Government. He is passionate about healthcare in general and particularly care in the community.
Gary is energetic and will bring new ideas to the council. If elected, he is determined to make a difference and will work hard for the residents in the Dalkeith area.
Kelly Parry – Midlothian West
Before becoming a Councillor in 2015 I worked in education policy and financial services and a former Board Member of Edinburgh College. My driving force for being a Councillor has always been my lived experiences living here and a passion for making Midlothian West the best place it can be to live, work and learn.
As a parent, I know how important it is that our children have the best education possible and I’ve been delighted to oversee the opening of new schools across the ward, Bilston Primary, Roslin Primary and the current building of the new Paradykes Primary are a stepping stones a better future for our children but there is still work to do.
Having lived in Midlothian all my life – working, studying and bringing up a child here has given me a grounded and common sense approach and the ability to make positive changes for our community despite the challenges that surround us.
David Temple – Midlothian West
I am a local resident living in Loanhead with my wife and have two daughters and a grandson. For most of my life I was employed in the printing trade. Latterly I have been self- employed running a successful gardening business.
I am passionate about issues such as education and protecting the vulnerable in our County. The impact of Tory Westminster budget cuts has been severe across Scotland and Midlothian has suffered as well.
I will be a strong voice for Midlothian West and will always put my constituent’s interests first and look forward to this opportunity to serve the community.
I have a lifetime interest in sport, especially rugby. My other interests are photography, gardening and Scottish history. I am very keen to see sport in Midlothian developed and for our young people to realise their full potential.
Kenneth Baird – Midlothian East
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 – Midlothian East
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.
Cath Johnstone – Midlothian South
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.
Ellen Scott – Midlothian South
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.