Voters in Moray go to the polls on 5th May to choose their next MSP and Scottish Government and after having the privilege of representing this wonderful constituency for the past ten years I am once again asking the electorate to place their trust in myself and the SNP.
Moray is traditionally a two horse race between the SNP and the Tories. This time around is no different.
It is a choice between the SNP’s track record of defending family budgets and investing in Moray’s public services and infrastructure and a Tory agenda of making life even more difficult for the vulnerable and imposing austerity on Moray and Scotland.
Since the election of the country’s first ever SNP Government in 2007, Moray has benefited from unprecedented investment. New schools, roads, health centres, social housing and flood schemes.
For example, investment over the last few years has delivered a bypass for Fochabers, major Flood Alleviation Schemes across Moray, new health facilities including access to NHS dentistry for thousands more people in our region.
New schools in Elgin and Keith have been completed with construction on a replacement Elgin High School also started and a commitment to delivering a new High School in Lossiemouth. In addition, several local primary schools are receiving a multi-million pound refurbishment.
For school leavers we have nearly 200 extra apprenticeship places each year in Moray and we have introduced new contracting arrangements for public bodies, which will ensure more and more people will earn the Living Wage as a minimum.
To help family budgets when times have been tough, the SNP Government has delivered vital social policies such as nine years of the council tax freeze, free prescriptions and free higher education. The Tories want to scrap free higher education and reintroduce prescription charges.
New jobs have been secured in the local food and drink industry and other sectors to help replace those lost when the UK Government cut Moray’s MoD jobs.
Our quality of life has been enhanced by crime falling by over half since the SNP Government was elected in 2007.
The SNP is protecting Scotland’s environment with over half of our electricity now from renewables, our world leading climate change targets that we are set to meet early and the introduction of the plastic bag charge to help tackle litter.
These are all successes for Moray but as your SNP candidate for Moray I am taking nothing for granted ahead of 5th May and with the support of hundreds more SNP activists and members in Moray than we’ve ever had before I am travelling the length and breadth the constituency, knocking doors and campaigning at street stalls, working hard for every vote.
I am proud of the SNP’s record in Government but we know that there is still much more to do. We intend to use the new powers that are available to the Scottish Parliament to work towards a fairer, more successful Moray and Scotland for everybody who lives and works here.
All four Moray candidates in the 2016 Parliamentary Election plus the Moray Greens have been invited to submit their views on one day each week until Friday, April 29 – they will then be invited to sum-up their cases on Sunday, May 1 in a final address on insideMoray before the election.