Falkirk Council election: Issues and candidates for Bo'ness and Blackness

On the edge of Falkirk district, Bo’ness and Blackness have many historical links to neighbouring West Lothian – and many believe the area is often forgotten by any Falkirk Council administration, whatever colour the rosette.

In recent years, the area has been changing rapidly as hundreds of new houses have either been built or will be built in the next few years – and there are concerns about whether the infrastructure, especially health services, can cope. Other recurring issues include a lack of public transport and poor maintenance of play parks.

Fears have also been raised about the future of Bo’ness Recreation Centre and other council-owned facilities which are currently part of a major review. And like other areas, changes to grass cutting have sparked debate while bin collections and road repairs are always top of many people’s priorities.

But you’ll also find in Bo’ness and Blackness some stunning scenery and incredible heritage that’s leading to growing tourism. Combined with a strong community spirit, there are plenty of people who want to make sure the area doesn’t get overlooked in future.

Concerns have been voiced over the future of Bo'ness Recreation Centre

Who won in 2017?

Ann Ritchie, Scottish National Party, 1510 Lynn Munro, Scottish Conservative and Unionist, 1412 David Aitchison, Scottish Labour, 1106

The background

All three of the current councillors are fighting to regain a seat in May’s elections, with David Aitchison returning as the Labour candidate and Lynn Munro once again representing the Conservatives.

However, the former SNP councillor Ann Ritchie – who topped the poll at the last election – is now standing as an Independent candidate, saying she wants to see politics taken out of the council altogether. At the meeting to set the council’s budget, she voted against her party in protest and its decision to close the public toilets in Bo’ness.

This time, standing for the SNP is Stacey Devine, who grew up in the town and is a former NUS Scotland women’s officer and campaigner on issues such as education, mental health and women’s rights.

Falkirk Greens, who have a candidate in every ward, have put forward Debra Pickering while the Scottish Liberal Democrats have selected Nicholas William Pitts to fight the election.

Who is standing in 2022?

There are six candidates hoping to be elected on May 5.

David Aitchison, Scottish Labour Party;

Stacey Devine, SNP;

Lynn Munro, Scottish Conservative and Unionist;

Debra Pickering, Scottish Green Party;

Nicholas William Pitts, Scottish Liberal Democrats;

Ann Ritchie, Independent