Five candidates for Midlothian East

Monday March 1st 2021


From left to right: At the time of publication no photograph was available for Margaret Davis (Scottish Liberal Democrats), Hazel Flanagan (Scottish Labour), Joy Godfrey (Scottish Greens), Stuart McKenzie (SNP) and Alan Symon (Scottish Conservatives).

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

Five candidates are set to fight it out for a seat on Midlothian Council when a by-election is held on March 25th.

The Midlothian East seat has been vacated after SNP Councillor Kenneth Baird resigned last month.


Stuart McKenzie, SNP

Stuart McKenzie, is a Dalkeith resident who is originally from Bonnyrigg.

He said: “Both my kids went to King’s Park before going to Dalkeith High School so I’ve always been active in the local community.

“As a parent, I want to see education of the highest standards available to all. Better educated children will bring wealth and prosperity to Midlothian for generations to come.

“My decision to stand for Midlothian Council is because I’ve always believed in social justice, fairness and building local community .

“I joined the SNP specifically because I believe Scotland will handle its own affairs better without the dead-hand of Westminster.

“Making people’s lives better through social progress requires fairness and openness. It requires local authorities dedicated to serving the people. ”


Hazel Flanagan, Scottish Labour

Hazel Flanagan, was raised in Mayfield and lives in Gorebridge

She is a senior childcare worker for Midlothian Surestart at Mayfield Primary School.

She said: “If elected, I will work hard for all the people of Midlothian East, a diverse ward stretching from Eskbank through Newbattle, Mayfield and Pathhead right up to Fala, with people coming from a huge variety of backgrounds and economic circumstances.

“Coming out of the pandemic will present challenges for all, with many people potentially losing their jobs or having their incomes reduced.

“Midlothian Council’s Labour administration has prioritised creating as many local jobs as possible, by pressing ahead with building new schools, housing and other key local services that our communities need.

“Electing another Labour councillor will help to secure and re-enforce these projects and move our communities forward to a better future. “


Alan Symon, Scottish Conservatives

Eskbank and Newbattle community councillor Alan Symon is standing for the Scottish Conservatives in the election.

The recently retired local businessman, who is a qualified chartered accountant, said:

“Having served the community in Midlothian for over 25 years, I’ve seen first-hand how important it is that we have a strong team on the council.

“I’ll be working with my Scottish Conservative colleague, Councillor Peter Smaill, to address the issues residents care about, such as improving the A68 and addressing the fly-tipping crisis we’ve seen across Midlothian.

“As the fastest growing local authority in Scotland, Midlothian faces a unique set of challenges. With the SNP Government slashing funding for councils by over £400 million this year, these challenges are only set to increase.

“That’s simply not good enough and I will do what it takes to ensure Midlothian gets its fair share.”


Joy Godfrey, Scottish Greens

Environmental campaigner Joy Godfrey is the Scottish Greens’ candidate.

Her campaign to clean up pollution in the River Esk in 2018 forced a clean-up, costing Scottish Water over £150,000 and leading to ongoing work for the river’s wellbeing.

She said of her success with the campaign: “I had no budget and I want to help other people with no resources to have their voice heard.

“I have cared for our community for years. This includes working for four years founding One Dalkeith to bring people together from all parts of the town to regenerate Dalkeith socially, environmentally and economically.

“I have volunteered in MAEDT community garden and want to see affordable access to healthy food. Before the World Health Organisation had declared a pandemic, I had set up a community resilience Facebook group for Newbattle and shared this model successfully across Midlothian.

“As a councillor, I will work hard for a green recovery from the pandemic, to build back better and develop green jobs. Midlothian needs better infrastructure. We need to collectively address climate change.”


At the time of publication no photograph was available for Margaret Davis

Margaret Davis, Scottish Liberal Democrats

The Scottish Liberal Democrats have nominated retired teacher Margaret Davis as their candidate.

She said she was standing to ensure voters in the ward had the chance “to support Willie Rennie’s commitment to put recovery first”.

A party spokesperson said:

“If elected, Margaret’s main effort will be focused on improving the quality of education delivered by the council and also to make sure that as new homes are built in our area, proper provision is made for the transport and other infrastructure needed to build great communities.”

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