Election17: Caring Community Spirit – Louise Laing, Speyside Glenlivet

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 Louise Laing, SNP candidate for Speyside Glenlivet .

I DECIDED TO STAND for the Speyside Glenlivet ward because it’s where I grew up and where I live and work.

I’ve always taken the view that there’s no point in sitting back and complaining about things when you can get involved and have your say. I will be a strong voice for the people of Speyside to make sure their opinions are taken into account.

I have many skills and interests that I believe would be an asset to Moray council. As a mother of four I had to be able to budget, prioritise, mediate and keep an open mind. These are all attributes that would all be beneficial in the role of councillor.

I want to protect our rural schools as I attended one myself. Edinville was a small two classroom school but it had very high expectations of the staff and pupils. I recognise that in rural areas the school is often the heart of the community and is highly valued and that they need to be protected.

I think it’s important to get views and opinions of parents, pupils and teachers in the running of schools and the best place to this is at the school gates. I would rather go out and personally talk to people than hold a meeting where only the same people turn up.

I think that carers, whether home carers or family carers, are under appreciated and would like to see more support in place for them.

The carers (Scotland) act published in 2016 has many policies in place and I would like to make sure these are implemented properly and give the support necessary to make sure that the carers and their representatives have their say in the planning and delivery of the services.

I would also like to see more support for people with mental health issues and their families, especially for those who have recently been in hospital and need help to get back into work.

I love the outdoors and I’m keen to see our walkways and cycle routes maintained and even extended. A local gentleman has worked really hard to connect Rothes to the Speyside way and is at the final stage. I would like to lend my support to this project.

I feel very lucky to live where I do because we have a very good community spirit. There are many small groups working in Speyside to promote the area and the health and well being for the local community.

I would be honoured to offer help and support to these groups. With the budget challenges that the Council has we need these groups more than ever. I would go to these groups and get their views, I would visit mother and toddler groups to get their ideas and go to senior citizen groups to see what changes and opinions they have to offer on the key issues affecting Speyside.

The current administration is a Tory/Independent coalition and while there can be many different ideas, this is also the downfall when it comes to decisions being made and leadership being shown.

For the past ten years the council has mismanaged its finances and threatened schools, and closed our libraries with a lack of leadership and vision. It’s time Moray Council had real leadership and we can do this with as many SNP representatives as possible.

Also contesting the Speyside Glenlivet ward: Angus Anderson (SNP), Derek Ross (Independent) and Walter Wilson (Scottish Conservative and Unionist)