‘Gender-balanced’ SNP

Back (L-R) David Alexander, Paul Garner, Gordon Hughes, Farah Farzana, Alan Gilbert. Middle: Fiona Collie, Ann Ritchie, Adanna McCue, Tom Coleman. Front: Gary Bouse, David Balfour, Cecil Meiklejohn, Laura Murtagh, Lorna Binnie, Margaret Milne
Back (L-R) David Alexander, Paul Garner, Gordon Hughes, Farah Farzana, Alan Gilbert. Middle: Fiona Collie, Ann Ritchie, Adanna McCue, Tom Coleman. Front: Gary Bouse, David Balfour, Cecil Meiklejohn, Laura Murtagh, Lorna Binnie, Margaret Milne

The Falkirk SNP group is fielding a majority of women candidates in the team it hopes will run the next council 
administration.

Out of 15 candidates who will run for the party in nine wards in the Falkirk Council area in the local election on May 4, eight are female.

Current councillors who will not be running in the upcoming election include Sandy Turner, Stephen Bird, Steven Carleschi, Colin Chalmers, Martin Oliver and Steven Jackson.

The full SNP candidate list is – Bo’ness: Alan Gilbert and Ann Ritchie; Grangemouth: David Balfour and Margaret Milne; Denny & Banknock: Fiona Collie and Paul Garner; Tryst: Gary Bouse and Laura Murtagh; Bonnybridge and Larbert Ward: Tom Coleman; Falkirk North: Cecil Meiklejohn and David Alexander; Falkirk South: Lorna Binnie; Lower Braes: Adanna McCue; Upper Braes: Gordon Hughes and Farah Farzana.

The local SNP party said it is taking nothing for granted ahead of polling day, despite national opinion polls showing encouraging signs. The SNP is also fielding two more candidates than Labour.

SNP group leader Cecil Meiklejohn said: “The SNP has grown since the last council elections, both in stature and membership. When we last fought a local election we had around 20,000 members – we now have closer to 120,000 members.

“I am confident that our gender-balanced team has the talent, the energy and the vision to take Falkirk Council forward and restore much of the faith in the local authority lost by the incumbents.”

She added: “The 2015 UK General Election and the 2016 Scottish Parliamentary elections were a triumph for the SNP and we are determined to ensure that local government is not left behind in the changes required to improve services and tackle the Tory cuts.

“I wish to thank the retiring members of the current SNP Group, they have been both supportive of me in my first term as leader and more importantly, effective in holding the Labour/Tory coalition to account.

“The SNP is up for the challenge and is determined to restore partnerships neglected by the current administration and in doing so improve the lives of the most vulnerable within our communities.”