The day before an election is never an easy one for candidates. After knocking on thousands of doors, talking to countless voters and answering unanswerable questions – the process comes to a sudden, anticlimactic halt.
For those standing on behalf of the major parties it’s hard enough; without the backing of a big party brand or support network it can be even tougher. So on this final day of campaigning, Clydebank Live is looking beyond the major parties – giving a platform to some of those standing as independents or for minor parties.
A former leader of the Council and education convenor, Denis Agnew successfully stood as an independent in the 2007 election. With the SNP and Labour destined for a five-year issue-by-issue tussle, Councillor Agnew was elected to the politically impartial role of provost of West Dunbartonshire.
Now seeking re-election, Mr Agnew believes the main issues facing Clydebank Central is housing and residents’ environment. He said: ” If re-elected I will continue to fight for more investment. Salisbury Place and parts of Radnor Park are in particularly poor condition.
“I will argue for continued development of the area to build on the successes I’ve helped deliver over the past five years. Some 24 new homes will soon be built at Granville Street, because of the demolition I helped drive through. It’s not enough though and I pledge to stand for greater investment throughout the ward.”
A West Dunbartonshire councillor for the past nine years, Marie McNair became an independent after leaving the Labour Party. She is proud to represent the ward in which she grew up and where she still works. Despite being an active councillor Ms McNair works as a nurse at the St Margaret of Scotland Hospice in Whitecrook, and volunteers to help children and adults with special needs.
She said: “For the past nine years I’ve worked hard for Whitecrook, Dalmuir and Old Kilpatrick – delivering on promises, putting residents first, and making sure my constituents’ views are heard. I’ve stood up for the elderly and most vulnerable, opposing charges and cuts to services.
“Local people want an environment that is safe, healthy, clean and free from anti-social behaviour. If re-elected I will secure this by delivering my pledges. the state of our roads and pavements need sorted and I will strongly oppose the massive incinerator planned for our doorstep.”
Eric Stevenson - Anti-Cuts Coalition candidate, Drumchapel/Anniesland:
Mr Stevenson is a retired housing administrator who was on the left-wing of the Labour Party.
He said: “I haven’t given up on Socialism. I was a member of the Labour Party for 37 years and was expelled for being militant. The current parties, including Labour, are letting people down. People have to have a voice and that’s why we are part of this UK-wide Anti-Cuts Coalition.”
Ann Lynch – Scottish Socialist Party(SSP) candidate, Clydebank waterfront:
A founding member of the SSP, Ann Lynch has been an anti-poverty campaigner for three decades. She set-up a group highlighting fuel poverty among Clydebank residents and is a member of the town’s community forum.
She said: “If elected to the Council I would campaign to restore free school meals, which were wrongly stopped for children whose parents are low paid. That decision was a disgrace, especially when you consider the child poverty problem we have.
“There should be no cuts to the care of elderly and disabled residents. The council has a responsibility to ensure all our residents have the services they need and not pander to big business.”
Alastair Whitelaw – Green Party candidate, Drumchapel/Anniesland:
An administrator at the University of Glasgow, Mr Whitelaw is an active trade unionist with a particular interest in workplace Health and Safety. He believes it essential to maintain and improve public services, opposing marketisation in healthcare and fully supports renationalisation of the railways.
He has stood for the Greens many times before at both local and national level. He is also active in the local arts and ornithological communities.
Alistair Manderson - Scottish Christian Party candidate, Clydebank Waterfront:
Mr Manderson has lived his entire life in the ward he hopes to represent. A graduate of public policy at the University of Glasgow, he helped found its Ulster-Scots Society – a group promoting the Scots language on either side of the Irish Sea.
He is a member of the Knightswood Free Church and believes a Christian voice would be a useful addition to the Council. Mr Manderson said: “A principled voice will serve Clydebank’s best interest.
“Family support services should be maintained and a police presence is needed at anti-social incidents, but what we really need is a culture of respect for teachers, parents and neighbours. Good quality housing should be available and the closeness of family members should be considered when allocating houses, so networks of support can be built up.”
A full list of independent and minor party candidates standing in our West Dunbartonshire Council (WDC) and Glasgow City Council (GCC) wards:
Clydebank Central (WDC) –
Denis Agnew (independent), Tom Morrison (Communist Party).
Clydebank Waterfront (WDC) –
Marie McNair (independent), Ann Lynch (SSP), Alastair Manderson (Scottish Christian Party)
Drumchapel/Anniesland (GCC) –
Gerard O’Neill McCue (Glasgow First), Eric Stevenson (Anti Cuts Coalition), James Trolland (independent), Alastair Whitelaw (Green Party).
Garscadden/Scotstounhill (GCC) –
John Cormack (Scottish Christian Party), Iain Cumming (UKIP), Phil Jarvis (independent), Mark Muir (Glasgow First), Martin Schmierer (Green Party), Ryan Stuart (Anti-Cuts Coalition).
Kilpatrick (WDC) –
Dawn Fyfe (SSP), Walter Graham (independent).
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