Election 2011

Remember to cast your vote in the upcoming Scottish Parliamentary Election on Thursday 5th May.

Your 5 candidates are:

Conservative – Kerensa Carr

Independent – Ronnie Campbell

Labour – Linda Stewart

Liberal Democrat – Alan MacRae

SNP – Dave Thompson

We have invited each of our candidates to tell Kyle-of-Lochalsh.co.uk why you should vote for them – watch this space for their replies! Please note we are unable to find an e-mail contact for Ronnie Campbell – if anyone has this or knows where to find it, please let us know so that we can give him the opportunity to get in touch with us.

LINDA STEWART, Scottish Labour Party candidate for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, has been in touch with us at Kyle-of-Lochalsh.co.uk. Asked why the residents of Lochalsh should vote for her:

“Linda Stewart is from Inverness and has spent most of her life living and working in the Highlands, with husband David and children Andrew and Kirsty.

Most of Linda’s career has been in education – as Lecturer in business studies and modern languages at Inverness College and, for the past 12 years, as Head of European Development at the University of the
Highlands and Islands – a job which has taken her across the whole region, working with local colleges and learning centres to improve infrastructure and increase access to higher education.

Locally, she has worked with Sabhal Mo`r Ostaig and the learning centre network in Skye and Lochalsh.

This work has given her an insight into working in partnership on regional economic development.

Linda was a candidate in the 2007 Scottish Parliamentary election for the seat of Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber and is a member of Labour’s Scottish Executive Committee.

She said: “I am standing for election because I believe I have relevant skills and experience to bring to the Scottish Parliament, from working in the region and, for the past 24 years, having been a working mum.

“I feel I know the issues affecting local people who have been let down by the broken promises from both the SNP in Holyrood and the new Tory/Lib Dem coalition in Westminster.

“If I’m elected, I promise to do all I can to bring jobs to the area. We need apprenticeship places for our young people so that we don’t have another lost generation.

Our manifesto pledges include:

– Guaranteed apprenticeships

– Criminals who carry knives will go to jail

– Cancer waiting times halved

– Freeze Council tax for two years

– No tuition fees for students attending university

If successful I will do my bit to ensure that these pledges are implemented and progressed in Skye and Lochalsh.

The new SNP position on independence “that a referendum should be held in the second half of the next parliament” would lead to years of uncertainty and put off economic investment at a time we need it most.

A new poll for the Scotsman shows that Scots worry that an independence referendum will damage the economic recovery.

The choice on 5 May is between Labour’s plan for jobs and the SNP’s plan for separating Scotland from the rest of the UK. The SNP plan is a complete and utter distraction from the things that really matter. It
means five years of uncertainty, five years of risk to jobs, five years of jeopardising investment, five years of total distraction from the urgent task of getting Scotland back to work.

Linda said, ‘I’ve been round many, many doors across Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch and the issue that people talk to me about most is jobs: that means opportunities for young people, jobs for the unemployed, better careers for adults – the choice is between those who are the job wreckers and those who are the job creators.

In the last year, 10,000 Scots joined the dole queue when unemployment should have been falling.

The urgent task is to get Scotland back to work, to create jobs, growth and investment.

Labour will bring forward a plan for jobs for the 40,000 unemployed young people, a plan to create 250,000 new jobs over the next decade.

We need to improve the A82, which is inadequate and needs to be made safer. Labour set aside funding for improvements to this route, but the SNP stalled the mprovements works, some of which would have been
completed about now had they been allowed to progress as planned. Improving such vital links would also speed up journey times which is important for the infrastructure and economy of the Western Highlands.

Already I have written to Highland Council about the closure of local toilet facilities. I have asked for a meeting and met the Deputy Chief Constable of Northern Constabulary to seek reassurance about the closure
of Police Stations in the Highlands, and I am actively canvassing petitioners to sign my petition seeking to halve waiting times for cancer patients.

If you vote for me on May 5th, I will tirelessly work for the benefit of Skye and Lochalsh.”

ALAN MACRAE, Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, has also been in touch with us at Kyle-of-Lochalsh.co.uk. Asked why the residents of Lochalsh should vote for him, Mr MacRae said:

“I believe that the residents of Lochalsh should vote for me for a number of reasons.

Firstly I am the only candidate of any of the parties that lives in the constituency – I travel the same pothole strewn roads as you do, I send my children to the same schools as you, I use the same Out of Hours medical services as you do, I fill up at the same petrol stations as you do – I believe this is important when seeking to represent people.

I also appreciate what makes our area special – I am the only candidate of any of the parties who is firmly against the centralisation of our Police and fire services in the Central Belt. We need services that fit our area not Glasgow.

Furthermore I am not a professional politician. After leaving Portree High School I studied in Edinburgh before becoming a teacher and then opening my own business, I am also a husband and father to 3 young children – so I have genuine real life experience and I have not been stuck in a political bubble, losing touch with reality.

First and foremost I am a Highlander and I will always put constituency needs above party politics.”

DAVE THOMPSON, Scottish National Party candidate for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, has also been in touch with us at Kyle-of-Lochalsh.co.uk. Asked why the residents of Lochalsh should vote for him, Mr Thompson said:

“I have been a Highlands and Islands MSP for the past four years and know Lochalsh well. I believe we have done a good job in government, have frozen the Council Tax, removed prescription charges and protected the health service although there is still much to do. I have dealt with local issues including the bus and rail services and will always be available to help with any problem if re-elected tomorrow. My record shows that I get things done.

Most recently I was involved in helping to save the Plockton Traditional Music Centre along with my friend John Farquhar Munro and was pleased that Education Cabinet Secretary Mike Russell listened to us and acted quickly to resolve the problem after the LibDem/Labour led Council withdrew their funding.

I am a Highlander who always puts the Highlands first and hope to continue working for Lochalsh as your local MSP.”

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