Falkirk Council election: Who is standing in Bonnybridge and Larbert and what are the main issues for voters

Bonnybridge and Larbert are two very distinct communities that at first glance don’t seem to have much in common, although they share a ward and will share the three councillors elected in May.
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However, both areas have seen tremendous growth in recent years with new housing springing up in their communities. That has led to fears that infrastructure for services such as education and health will not be able to cope.

Larbert in particular has been transformed by housebuilding, which many residents say is putting massive pressure on schools and doctors’ surgeries.

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Bonnybridge has also grown and – as with many areas across the council – there is strong criticism of the public transport available. Over many years, there has been a consistent push to restore the old railway station to serve the community.

Public transport is one of the issues on voter's minds in Bonnybridge and LarbertPublic transport is one of the issues on voter's minds in Bonnybridge and Larbert
Public transport is one of the issues on voter's minds in Bonnybridge and Larbert

As ever, litter is a hot topic and both areas have active volunteers who don’t just pick up rubbish but also help with planting flowers and shrubs to keep things looking their best.

Other issues are not unique to the local areas: changes Falkirk Council has made to grass cutting have sparked debate while bin collections and road repairs are always top of many people’s priorities, wherever they live.

Who won in 2017?

Tom Coleman, Scottish National Party, (1,898 First Preference vote) David Grant, Scottish Conservative and Unionist) Billy Buchanan, Independent, (1134 First Preference vote)

The background

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The last election saw a massive vote for long-serving SNP Councillor Tom Coleman, who took on the role of Provost. Sadly, just a few months after his victory, he died and his seat was won, again for the SNP, by his son Niall Coleman.

Shortly before this election was called Niall Coleman announced that he had resigned from the party and wouldn’t seek re-election.

Standing again will be David Grant, the Scottish Conservative and Unionist candidate, who was first elected in 2017. Also hoping to be re-elected is one of the council’s few Independent councillors, Billy Buchanan, who has been Provost since early 2018, following councillor Tom Coleman’s death.

Contesting the ward for the SNP are two experienced campaigners, Bryan Deakin and Jim Muir, who are keen to make it a double victory for the party which is aiming to get a majority on Falkirk Council.

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Labour’s Jack Redmond, aged 26, is one of the youngest candidates. He works in New College, Lanarkshire teaching joinery.

The Green Party’s candidate is David Robertson.

Who can I vote for?

Bonnybridge & Larbert (Ward 5) – three councillors to be elected

Billy Buchanan, Independent;

Bryan Deakin, Scottish National Party (SNP);

David Grant, Scottish Conservative and Unionist;

Jim Muir, Scottish National Party (SNP);

Jack Redmond, Scottish Labour Party;

David Robertson, Scottish Green Party;