Meet the Dalkeith candidates for the forthcoming Midlothian Council elections before making your vote on May 4.
Jim Bryant (Indp)
Over the last five years as a councillor in the administration I have learned a great deal of how a council works. I also brought 12 years served in the army and 25 years as banker with HBOS. Five years before becoming a councillor I worked as a money adviser with the Citizens Advice Bureau. I brought this wealth of experience and think, I hope, I have made a difference to the good people of Midlothian. As portfolio holder of Communities and Economy I have helped many businesses and workers. Whether I am a portfolio holder or not; Midlothian knows what it will get from me.
Colin Cassidy (SNP)
Colin was born and brought up in Dalkeith, where he lives with his wife and family, and is a well known face to many local people thanks to his tool hire company which his adult children now run with Colin taking a back seat. This has given him the opportunity to devote time to the community in which he lives.
His business skills will be an asset to the council chamber where Tory Westminster budget cuts are known to be causing so much distress and hardship locally. Colin believes there is a need to completely change the way the council delivers services in order for them to continue to meet our communities needs.
Stephen Curran (Lab)
I believe local councillors should be embedded in their communities. I’ve resided in Midlothian my entire life, living in Dalkeith for the past eight years and Danderhall for my first 25 years, I’m now 44. I’m excited about the possibility of assisting constituents and working with community groups and local businesses to help improve our community and community facilities. I also have a passion for digital inclusion and its importance in today’s society. If elected, I will continue to engage with our communities to help make a positive difference to the quality of people’s lives.
Margot Russell (Lab)
I have lived in Midlothian all my life and have served on the council since 1999. During that time I have held many posts, and was Depute Provost for nine years. My involvement with the community has extended beyond local government. I am active on the committees of Dalkeith Welfare Hall, Midlothian Voluntary Action and Midlothian Advice and Resource Centre, and I am involved with Dalkeith Festival and Dalkeith Christmas Lights. The Bill Russell Woodburn Youth Project, which I set up in 2007 to provide a much needed drop in facility for young people in the area, is going strong after ten years.
Jill Simon (Green)
I will work hard to ensure more independent local businesses thrive in our town centres, creating more local jobs and self employment, keeping the wealth within our community. Children with additional or special educational needs are not getting the support that they need and deserve. I’ll campaign strongly for extra provision in those areas. More commuter towns are being built on our green spaces and more roads planned for short term congestion relief. It’s time for local communities to have their say. The Green Party will ensure that local people have a proper say in decisions on such developments.
Robin Traquair (Con)
Robin grew up in the local area, and attended school at Danderhall Primary and Dalkeith High. His family has farmed locally for four generations, which Robin continues to do. Robin is deeply attached to the community having both brought up his family and run a business in the ward, and will be a strong voice for everyone in Dalkeith ward. His priorities include boosting opportunities for local business and improving the facilities available to local people. Robin wants to be a strong advocate for families and to make sure local infrastructure is improved.
Gary Young (SNP)
Following a couple of years as a ‘postie’ Gary has pursued a career in adult nursing and has worked as a staff nurse with NHS Lothian for the past 15 years. Given the experience of his current job he is very keen to ensure that the NHS continues to be protected, and that essential NHS services are maintained despite the damaging budget cuts imposed on the Scottish budget by the Tory Westminster Government. He is passionate about healthcare in general and particularly care in the community. If elected, he is determined to make a difference and will work hard for residents in the Dalkeith area.