Wednesday April 27th 2022
Penicuik residents were rocked when veteran councillor and Midlothian Provost Adam Montgomery died in office in 2018 – months after retaining his seat in the 2017 council election.
The Labour councillor had represented the town for 31 years and been involved in many decisions from new schools to refurbishing Penicuik Town Hall.
The by election, which followed saw SNP councillor Joe Wallace, who had lost his seat in the May election regain his seat and left the three-seat ward with no Labour councillor for the first time in three decades.
Like most wards in Midlothian new housing developments and the growing population of the county is at the top of people’s concerns as local services and infrastructure are put under pressure.
In the Penicuik ward in recent months there has also been concern about antisocial behaviour after a series of fire-raising incidents from trees and bins being set alight to an incident earlier this month when a car was destroyed in a blaze.
2017 election results
Andrew Hardie, Conservative 26.2% FPv (1,517 total)
Adam Montgomery, 25.6 % FPv (1,482 total)
Debbi McCall 21% FPv (1,472.8 total)
Conservative councillor Andrew Hardie, whose victory in 2017 saw support for his party rise from under 10 per cent in 2012 elections to 26 per cent, has decided to step down after five years in the post, with new Conservative candidate Richard Thomson, a self-employed Uber driver, standing in his place.
Joe Wallace, who was elected in the 2018 by election following Adam Montgomery’s death has also decided not to stand again leaving SNP colleague Debbi McCall as the only sitting councillor bidding to be re-elected in the ward.
Local businessman Willie McEwen is hoping to regain a seat in the ward for Labour in the upcoming election.
Mr McEwen said: “Penicuik now and in the past, has had councillors of all persuasions, who work very hard to improve people’s lives and improve the area.
“I have decades of experience in running my own businesses which I have handed over to my son and I have the experience of working alongside an extremely experienced Labour council and believe we can do more, much more for the people of Penicuik.”
Full list of candidates for the local elections on Thursday 5th May:
– Helen Armstrong, Scottish Green Party
– George Boyd, Alba Party
– Ken Brown, Scottish Liberal-Democrats
– Debbi McCall, SNP
– Willie McEwan, Scottish Labour
– Connor McManus, SNP
– Richard Thomson, Scottish Conservatives and Unionist Party