Remember to cast your vote in the upcoming Scottish Parliamentary Election on Thursday 5th May.
Your 4 candidates are:
Conservative – Graeme Andrew Brooks
Labour – Duncan McNeil
Liberal Democrat – Ross Finnie
SNP – Stuart McMillan
We have invited each of our candidates to tell PortGlasgow.org.uk why you should vote for them – watch this space for their replies!
GRAEME BROOKS, Conservative candidate for Greenock & Inverclyde, has been in touch with PortGlasgow.org.uk.
Mr Brooks says:
“The votes which you cast on Thursday will decide the make up of the Scottish Parliament for the next 5 years.
It is not simply about deciding which party will get the most seats. It is not as simple as deciding who should be First Minister. The crucial choice is to decide what the balance of power and influence will be at Holyrood.
Scottish politics needs somebody who will stand up to the excesses of Alex Salmond and Iain Gray and stand against their nationalism and socialism.
That somebody is me.
The Scottish Conservatives made the SNP ditch their ill fated plans for a local income tax which would have forced up the tax bills for hard working households in Port Glasgow. We said no to their independence ambitions and made them focus instead on the economy and creating jobs.
But when the SNP was prepared to act in the true national interest rather than the narrow nationalist interest, and back Conservative ideas, we delivered. So let the Scottish Conservatives be judged on our record. Judge me on what we have delivered for Scotland.
1,000 extra police not the 500 which the SNP tried to fob Scotland off with.
A four year Council Tax freeze which was only delivered because of Scottish Conservative votes and was rejected by Labour and the LibDems.
A £60 million pound town centre regeneration fund, transforming Port Glasgow town centre and boosting local trade.
A new national drugs strategy, help for construction and house buyers, 10,000 new jobs on the way and much, much more all delivered because we, the Scottish Conservatives, made it happen.
I will stand up for common sense and taking every decision based on one simple premise: what is in the best interests of Scotland?
I will always stand up and speak out for Scotland and Scotlands place in the United Kingdom. I know the difference between patriotism and nationalism.
And I will fight each and every day to deliver common sense for Scotland at Holyrood.
Every voter in Port Glasgow has two votes for that Conservative common sense.
Your Greenock and Inverclyde constituency vote on the lilac ballot paper vote ‘X’ BROOKS, at the top of your ballot paper.
Then secondly your crucial regional vote on the peach ballot paper to decide who wields the balance power and keeps Alex Salmond or Iain Gray in check. Vote ‘X’ Scottish Conservatives and Unionist Party to bring common sense from Annabel Goldie to the Scottish Parliament.
After all, its only common sense.”
DUNCAN MCNEIL, Scottish Labour Party candidate for Greenock & Inverclyde, has been in touch with PortGlasgow.org.uk.
Mr McNeil says:
This is the first time that I have stood in a Scottish Parliamentary election for the Port Glasgow area.
Many of you will know me as a strong campaigner for Greenock, Gourock, Inverkip and Wemyss Bay and I look forward to offering a strong voice to my neighbours in Port Glasgow if elected to the new constituency.
We have made significant progress across Inverclyde in overcoming the setbacks thrust upon us by the Thatcher government who closed the shipyards.
Since then, we have worked as a community to make Port Glasgow and Inverclyde once again a desirable place to live and work.
In our schools, our housing and our waterfront, we can see the regeneration of Inverclyde, all made possible by Labour spending at Westminster, setting the right priorities in Holyrood and delivering on these promises at a local level.
Now that the Tories are back in power, all this has been put at risk.
At the same time, the SNP has shown that it does not share our ambitions for Port Glasgow and Inverclyde.
They imposed an unfair settlement on our council, our college faces a fight for its future, housing delays are on the cards and the regeneration project modernising our waterfront was handed swingeing cuts.
When we asked for tough action on knife crime to the parliament, they refused to listen.
Only Labour has a plan to create jobs for Port Glasgow and protect Scotland from the Tory cuts.
We have ambitious plans to create a training place, an apprenticeship or a job for every qualified young person and put unemployed teachers back to work to drive up literacy standards.
We will also reduce cancer waiting times, create a National Care Service to ensure dignity in old age, tackle low pay, freeze the council tax and crackdown on knife crime.
With the SNP obsessed by separatism, only Scottish Labour is focussing on the things that really matter.
If you share my ambitions for Port Glasgow, I would ask you to give me your support on May 5th and vote Scottish Labour.”
ROSS FINNIE, Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate for Greenock & Inverclyde, has been in touch with PortGlasgow.org.uk.
Mr Finnie says:
“The Liberal Democrats believe that in the current climate, it is more important than ever that people and businesses in Port Glasgow and Inverclyde have the best possible environment for employment and economic recovery. Boosting jobs will be our number one priority in the next parliament.
We will help young people get the skills and training they need, and provide support for businesses to create jobs – for example, supporting local businesses through Regional Development Banks, when they have been let down by banks who are still not lending.
Port Glasgow will also benefit from our plans to invest in green jobs – taking action on energy efficiency measures such as home insulation, as well as making the most of our renewable energy resources – creating 40,000 jobs across Scotland.
My Liberal Democrat colleagues and I pushed for more cash for regeneration agencies, such as Riverside Inverclyde, in this year’s Scottish budget – the work they do is vital in bringing jobs and opportunities to our area.
But we must make sure that it’s not just Greenock that benefits – the regeneration must extend to Port Glasgow too.
The housing redevelopment by River Clyde Homes is vital to the development of Port Glasgow, and I want to ensure that the government continues to support this work.
Education plays a vital part in providing our young people with opportunities for the future. The Liberal Democrats want to make sure every child gets the best possible start, with early intervention for those who need it most, giving more control to teachers instead of bureaucrats, and improving links between colleges and businesses.
I also want control of vital local services, such as healthcare and policing, to stay local – decisions made by communities who know what’s right for them. I will continue to support the No Knives, Better Lives campaign, which has been shown to work, reducing knife crime by a third in Inverclyde. I want to reduce crime and make offenders pay back to their community for the damage they’ve done.
With your support on Thursday May 5th – on both your peach and lilac-coloured ballot papers – my Liberal Democrat colleagues and I will continue to work hard for the people of Port Glasgow and Inverclyde.”
STUART MCMILLAN, Scottish National Party candidate for Greenock & Inverclyde, has been in touch with PortGlasgow.org.uk.
Mr McMillan says:
“Positive about Inverclyde
I am asking for the electorate in Port Glasgow to vote for me to become the constituency MSP for the Greenock and Inverclyde constituency.
As the only candidate to grow up in The Port, I grew up in Devol and attended Boglestone Primary and Port High, I have an excellent understanding of the town. The best attribute being the strong sense of community.
On 5th May, Port Glasgow has the opportunity to help re-elect the SNP. In Government we delivered 84 of 94 manifesto commitments over the last 4 years and I was proud to be one of the MSPs representing, amongst others, my home community.
I have always fought Inverclydes corner and always will. Personally, I have campaigned on a number of issues such as: consultation on Port Glasgow Town Centre Regeneration, campaigned to get Port Glasgow a share of the Town Centre Regeneration Fund, (£600,000 was allocated from SNP Government), saving of local Community Maternity Unit at IRH, improved road safety on the A78, better flood protection measures, supporting our local post offices, successful campaign for pleural plaques sufferers and many more.
Alongside this, I fully supported the measures delivered by the SNP which led to:
– Freezing the Council Tax for 4 years,
– Record funding (£54m) for new Social Housing in Inverclyde, many of them in Port Glasgow,
– Over 1,000 extra police officers on our streets,
– Scrapping of Prescription Charges, and
– Scrapping of Tuition Fees and Increased funding for college bursaries.
These are just a few of the measures the SNP Government, under Alex Salmond as First Minister, has delivered for Inverclyde and Scotland.
However, much more can be achieved and only an SNP Government will freeze the council tax for the next 5 years, saving average families over £1,200 since 2007, invest more resources in the NHS, support our youngest children and families with new Sure Start centres, and deliver 125,000 modern apprenticeship places.
A vote for me on your lilac ballot paper and Alex Salmond for First Minister on your peach ballot paper will ensure Greenock and Inverclyde and Scotland elects a Scottish Government focused on jobs, fairness and opportunities. Voting SNP in both the constituency and regional votes ensures a positive message about Inverclyde is heard in Parliament. Only Stuart McMillan and the SNP are Positive about Inverclyde. Finally, a vote for me ensures a Portonian is once again elected to the Scottish Parliament and a Port voice will be heard.”