Recovery after fires in Pollokshields key issue for council candidates

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Pollokshields has suffered devastating fires during this council term and help with the area’s recovery is likely to be a consideration for residents ahead of Thursday’s vote.

A blaze tore through a tenement block on Albert Drive in November 2019, destroying homes and businesses. A second fire, in April 2020, broke out in a tenement block on Kenmure Street. There was also a fatal fire on McCulloch Street in June last year. Residents have pushed for long-term regeneration plans for the fire-hit area, led by the community but supported by the council.

Pollokshields, one of the city’s most diverse wards, also takes in Crossmyloof, Strathbungo and part of Shawlands as well as Bellahouston, Craigton and Dumbreck. Last year, the community rallied together to protest against a Home Office dawn raid on Kenmure Street. One activist lay under a van while crowds gathered to demand the release of two Indian Sikh men, who after around eight hours were let go. The response demonstrated how many locals feel about the UK Government’s immigration policies.

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As with every ward in the city, the delivery of key council services, including rubbish collection and dealing with potholes, will also be on the minds of voters when they make their decision next Thursday.

There are concerns about the area’s recovery after recent fires.There are concerns about the area’s recovery after recent fires.
There are concerns about the area’s recovery after recent fires.

2017 results

At the last elections, three incumbents, representing the SNP, Labour and the Conservatives, held on to their seats while the Greens secured the fourth, which was contested for the first time following changes to the ward’s boundaries.

Norman MacLeod, SNP, received the most first preference votes (24.34%), ahead of David Meikle, for the Tories, who got 23.04%. Labour’s Hanif Raja was the third councillor elected (15.09%) and Jon Molyneux took the last seat for the Greens. There was a turnout of 48.6%, with 10,288 valid votes.

2022 candidates

All four Pollokshields councillors from the last council term are standing again in these elections. MacLeod, Meikle, Raja and Molyneux are hoping to retain their seats. The SNP has also put forward Zen Ghani and Labour has selected Fariha Thomas. Carole Ford is standing for the Liberal Democrats, Muhammad Shoaib for Alba, Tom Ruddell for the Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition and Ewan Hoyle for the pro-European Volt Scotland party.

Full list of candidates

Carole Ford, Scottish Liberal Democrats

Zen Ghani, Scottish National Party

Ewan Hoyle, Volt Scotland

Norman MacLeod, Scottish National Party

David Meikle, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Jon Molyneux, Scottish Green Party

Hanif Raja, Scottiash Labour Party

Tom Ruddell, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Muhammad Shoaib, Alba Party

Fariha Thomas, Scottish Labour Party

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