Election17: Accessible – Graham Leadbitter, Elgin City South

All individual candidates or political groups contesting the forthcoming local council elections in Moray are invited to state their case through the pages of our community news site – contact for submissions is editor@insidemoray.news. Here we have views of Graham Leadbitter, SNP candidate for Elgin City South.

I HAVE ALWAYS been involved in community activities from a young age and that community interest continued when I moved to Elgin in 2001.

I joined Elgin Community Council shortly after moving here and since being elected as a Councillor in 2007 I’ve worked with many community groups and organisations, including Moray Women’s Aid, Parent Councils and many others.

On local issues I have worked hard to get projects going that improve Elgin – including the well used cycle path that runs along the flood scheme and the recent work to refurbish the Muckle Cross. To achieve these things, and many others, I have worked closely with other Elgin councillors and other councillors from across Moray.

I am accessible to constituents and committed to tackling local concerns and problems affecting the people of Elgin South – from anti-social driving issues to littering and housing problems. I am also committed to dealing with Moray wide issues from proper stewardship of the Council’s finances to growing our regional economy.

It is easy to jump up and down and shout about issues but real progress is made by being pragmatic and persuading others to back you. I have those abilities and put them to good use for Elgin and for Moray.

I have 10 years experience as an opposition councillor in Moray and have seen the growing lack of vision and strategy from the outgoing administration first hand. It is incredibly frustrating being in opposition but I am campaigning alongside talented, hard-working SNP colleagues to change that.

The SNP has consistently worked hard to push alternative ways of working in the Council and to tackle the deficit. These have included proposals in budgets to restructure management in the Council and more collaborative and partnership working with other public sector organisations and with neighbouring councils.

If we want to tackle the £7million budget deficit that is the time bomb left by the current Tory/Independent Administration then electing more Tories and Independents to do the same old, same old is not the answer.

Fundamentally electing SNP councillors means electing a strong team that will provide leadership and strategy to a Council that desperately needs it, underpinned by hard work and commitment to our local communities.

We are not members and candidates for the SNP because we blindly follow but instead because being part of a team that backs each other up is a good way to get things done that improve our communities and Moray as a whole.

Representing and improving this community is the reason I am standing for election and the reason I am asking for your support.

Also contesting the Elgin City South ward: John Divers (Scottish Labour), Sean Malone (Independent) and Ray McLean (Scottish Conservative and Unionist)