Cleaning up Baillieston streets and more community events key issues for council candidates

Cleaning up the streets of Baillieston and having more community events are some of the issues election hopefuls promise to deal with if they become councillors.
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The ward includes the areas of Garrowhill, Broomhouse, Swinton and Wellhouse.

Seven candidates are fighting for three seats in Baillieston and we contacted them to find out what they intend to do if elected. Whatever happens, residents will have a set of new councillors next weeks as all current politicians are due to stand down.

Who won last time?

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In 2017, SNP councillor Elaine Ballantyne, who is stepping down, won the most votes followed by Labour’s Jim Coleman. Mr Coleman was forced out from office in 2021 for failing to attend council meetings for six months.

The SNP’s David Turner took his place following a by election but will now stand in Shettleston instead. Conservative Philip Charles is not seeking re-election.

People in Baillieston are concerned about the state of the streets.People in Baillieston are concerned about the state of the streets.
People in Baillieston are concerned about the state of the streets.

2017 Results:

  1. Elaine Ballantyne, SNP, 2,263 votes (32.6%) first preference votes)
  2. Jim Coleman, Labour, 2,032 votes (22%) first preference votes)
  3. Philip Charles, Conservative, 1,884 votes (20.96 % first preference votes)

Who can I vote for this time?

John Daly – Conservatives

Former headteacher John Daly said he “has made the east of Glasgow his home for all of his life.”

As a career long educator in the city he believes that “a good solid education is the key to success and improved health and wellbeing.”

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Mr Daly said he has “dedicated himself to the children and families of Glasgow” and worked “often in the most challenging of environments.”

As a head teacher in the primary and additional support needs sector, he helped to build educational attainment for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and other more extreme support needs.

He said he believes “these elections are solely about local issues.”

He aims to help “clean up Glasgow and bring first-hand experience to the city chambers to benefit the pupils and families of Baillieston.”

Tony Hughes – Scottish Liberal Democrats

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The party said it would reverse council cuts to essential services, increase the rate of bin collection in tenements areas and from public wastebins, remove the bulk uplift charge, and reopen the libraries and sports grounds.

It also said it would “introduce a a rapid response unit to address public concerns on potholes, street parking, street lighting and litter.” It also pledges to improve housing provision and reverse cuts to public transport.

Ryan Kelly – Scottish Greens

Ryan Kelly who grew up and still lives in Baillieston said there are “massive issues” facing the community and the whole city.

He said there are “instances of fly tipping left undealt with, rising rents, and a cost of living crisis only just starting to bite. People are beginning to see the need for real action to tackle these issues, and that starts at the local level.

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The Scottish Greens candidate added: “If elected then I’ll work with Green councillors across our city to bring about the changes needed to make Glasgow fairer and greener. So many of the issues facing all of us are only exacerbated by the inequality that can be found throughout society. It is because of this that Greens recognise that you cannot achieve climate justice without social justice, improving lives and our environment in tandem.”

Alex Kerr – SNP

Community engagement officer Alex Kerr who grew up in the East End has spent most of his adult life living in Baillieston. His work involves liaising with community organisations and he wants to bring that experience to the area.

He said: “Thanks to the work of local SNP councillors work has finally begun on the site of Bailliestson community hub and sports centre and on the East End’s only public tennis courts in Garrowhill.

“Just as important as these physical projects has been the work done to support and advocate for local organisations like Brighter Baillieston, Connect Community Trust and the Glenburn Centre.”

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The SNP candidate added: “ If elected I commit to continuing to build on this legacy of community empowerment and engagement. At the end of the day, communities know best exactly what kind of services they need and the SNP are committed to working with communities to get the best for our area.

“It would be an absolute privilege to be elected to represent the area I love.”

Kevin Lalley – Labour

Married dad Kevin Lalley has lived in Baillieston for 27 years.

The father-of-two is involved in a free food evening at a restaurant where residents can come along and get pasta. He also helped set up a coffee afternoon.

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Mr Lalley who “is on a cancer journey” was awarded a local hero status award for his charity work with MAGGIES, Everyone’s Home of Cancer Care.

He said: “I am retired and my background was working with vulnerable people assisting them with adaptations to their property to allow them to have more independence and enhance their quality of life.”

The election candidate was the vice chair of his children`s local school board and played an active part in local churches.

He said issues in the area include the cleanliness of streets and a need for more community events.

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He said: “f I am successful and elected my sole responsibility will be to serve Baillieston to the best of my ability, I will be seen daily in the community and will be pro active rather than reactive.”

Lauren Martin – SNP

Lauren Martin, 19, who lives in Wellhouse, aims to be an approachable (elected) member who “residents can voice anything to.”

The women’s officer for Young Scots for Independence YSI Glasgow said one of the many reasons she is standing is because “there has been a lack of female candidates previously.”

She said: “My main goal as councillor is to provide a voice for those in the Baillieston Ward especially those who may have previously felt like they have not been or heard of have struggled to be.”

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The SNP election hopeful added: “I’d like to be involved within the community trusts and organisations that already do incredible work, to help aid this and be a positive figure within the community.

Explaining more about her background, she said: “I’ve studied journalism and media but realised I wanted to be striving for change and make a difference as opposed to writing about it happening.”

Mary McNab – Labour

Care sector worker Mary McNab said her experience means she has “great knowledge of how communities deal with issues that affect families.”

The married grandmother-of-five who lives in the East End of Glasgow said: “There have been savage cuts in Glasgow for many years and this has had a severe impact on the care sector, with Labour`s pledge to fight for a fair funding deal I will have many conversations hoping that the issues I encounter in my daily duties helping vulnerable people can be addressed to allow our customers in our city a better life.”

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She added: “When speaking to residents on the doorsteps there have been comments on the dirty streets and the three weekly bin uplifts, this needs to be addressed immediately to allow our residents and our visitors to enjoy this great city.”

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