Campaigning underway in East Dunbartonshire by-election


By a Newsnet reporter

The people of the Campsie and Kirkintilloch North ward in East Dunbartonshire will go to the polls on Thursday 13 September to choose a new councillor.  The by-election was caused by the unfortunate death of popular local councillor Charles Kennedy (no relation to the former Lib Dem leader of the same name).  Mr Kennedy passed away in July after a courageous battle against cancer.

Beginning his career as a Labour councillor and later becoming leader of the East Dunbartonshire Independent Alliance, Mr Kennedy ably represented the people of East Dunbartonshire over many years.  

Six candidates are standing for election to the council which has been run by a Labour / Tory / Lib Dem coalition after none of the parties managed to reach a majority at the recent council elections in May.

During May’s election, the SNP and the Labour Party both won 8 seats, the Liberal Democrats won 3, the Conservatives 2, the Independent Alliance 2 and the final seat went to an independent candidate.

Speaking to Newsnet Scotland, Susan Murray of the LibDems said:

“With my background as a local charity campaigner I want to see if I can do more for our great community, if elected.  Good local facilities and transport links, and an improved local economy with local jobs are vital.  That’s why I would put these issues first working for the community I want to represent.”

Ross Greer of the Scottish Green Party said:  

“Green councillors across the UK are already bringing positive change to communities and I believe that I can bring this to Campsie and Kirkintilloch North.  I am passionate about politics being local and engaging, not distant and bureaucratic.  I’ve been involved in campaigns such as communities fighting supermarket expansion, the movement against Tory cuts to welfare and encouraging school students to engage with politics through their own unions.

“As your councillor I will:

“Encourage investment in publicly owned renewable energy to raise revenue, create jobs and cut fuel bills.

“Ensure council purchasing supports local producers, social enterprise and ethical trade.

“Improve provision for young people both in leisure and training for employment, such as reintroducing the work experience programme.”

Billy Hutchison, the SNP candidate said:

“I have been chapping doors and speaking to the people of Campsie and Kirkintilloch North Ward, and they have raised a number of serious issues including secondary schools, bus routes, possible asbestos on the former Lillyburn Pulp Factory and the  adoption of Netherton Oval.  Rather than wait to see if I am elected I have taken action on these issues straight away.

“If elected I will fight against school closures, support local clubs for all ages and support better bus links for the ward.  I will speak out against extravagancies by the Lab/Lib/Con administration such as new council cars and lavish black-tie dinners.”

“Only by voting SNP on Thursday 13th September will you get an independent voice and a local man to represent you.”

The full list of candidates for the up and coming by-election is as follows:

Ross Greer for the Scottish Green Party

Billy Hutchison for the SNP

Susan Murray for the Scottish Liberal Democrats

Brian Reid an Independent candidate

Alisdair Sinclair for the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Gemma Welsh for the Scottish Labour Party

Update. Newsnet Scotland received this statement from the Conservative candidate.

Alisdair Sinclair, Scottish Conservative & Unionist candidate said, “If elected next Thursday, I would be a diligent, accessible and hard working councillor for the people of Campsie & Kirkintilloch North.  My Conservative colleagues are currently working in coalition with Labour and the Liberal Democrats on the council to steer a course through these difficult economic times.  I would like to be part of that team, to make our community a cleaner, greener, safer and more prosperous place to live.  I hope you’ll give me an opportunity to serve you by giving me your 1st preference vote next Thursday.”


Update Newsnetscotland attempted to contact Brian Reid, the Independent Candidate, but it has come to our attention that Mr Reid did not receive our request for comments.

We apologise to Mr Reid and wish him well in tomorrows election