Freelance Web/Graphic designer, photographer & community campaigner

Local elections, independence and the union

As campaigns for the local council elections ramp up, the major parties are courting voters with a predominant focus on national issues.

Candidates for Labour​, ​Conservatives ​and the Liberal Democrats ​are​ ​already using arguments for staying in the Union as reasons for your vote while prospective SNP candidates are seeking vote​s​ to help bolster the case for an independent Scotland.

In my opinion this issue has no place in local politics where the first and last job of a councillor is to ensure that local community priorities are being met by the local authority.

​Yet all-important local issues can get sidelined or dismissed altogether during local elections because of a focus on national issues which a local councillor is more or less powerless to resolve.

Campaigning on national issues for local elections serves as a distraction from the immediate issues facing our towns and villages such as the dilapidated state of our local playparks, under-investment in frontline services,​ ​the​ ​poor condition of​ ​our​ ​roads​ ​and​ ​the disengagement of communities from Fife Council.

I support independence for Scotland on the basis that I believe it will radically increase local democracy​. However​,​ ​I will not be using it as part of my campaign to be elected as an Independent councillor for the Lochgelly, Cardenden and Benarty ward.

I have friends and family​ ​who​ ​are supporters ​of an independent Scotland, and I have friend​s​​ ​and​ ​family, including​ ​my partner,​ ​who fervently support remaining within the United Kingdom. Despite our differing political persuasion​s​, we respect each other’s viewpoints.

There are compelling arguments for staying in the UK and compelling arguments for an independent Scotland. It is a national issue to be debated at length by political parties at the Holyrood and Westminster parliaments. At some point the electorate will be asked to​ ​vote in another referendum.

I do not believe these are issues for​ councillors and candidates to campaign on, and I do not believe council​l​ors or candidates should be trying to elicit votes based on ​a stance for or against the union.

Councillors and candidates should be focused on the issues within their communities​. ​Their job is to represent the residents of their ward at Fife Council. Th​is calls for a collaborative approach with councillors of all colours alongside residents, community groups and Fife Council in seeking innovative and creative ways to resolve local issues and improve our towns and villages.

Article written by:

Tech geekery, blogging, volunteering, graphic/web design, photography, digital activism and community-based campaigns are some of the things that I am passionate about.

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Local Schools and Health | James Glen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.