Councillor Jim Muirhead
At the last election I was able to stand on my record of acheivements in leading change in Gorebridge.
At that time we had well over £50m of investment in Gorebridge which was preparing us well for the future. We celebrated having more Council housing built in Gorebridge in the previous 6 years than than had been built in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Stirling put together.
We had just completed our 4th new primary school and looking to start a 5th. We were looking to replace Newbattle High School and were pressing the Scottish Government on this.
With the election of an SNP administration in May 2012, I had to take on a different role as part of the opposition on the Council. I have found this to be a very frustrating, being forced to sit on the sidelines as the SNP grabbed power and then concentrated on their national agenda rather than on Midlothian.
That said, there have been achievements in our area over the last 5 years. Credit where credit is due, the Scottish Government put the final peices in place to deliver the Borders Rail line. However their lack of investment in the line has resulted in packed or cancelled trains which has led to some loss in confidence in the line. Most would agree though that it is a great benefit to Gorebridge and Newtongrange.
The fifth new primary in our area was finally delivered and a great school it is, in a fantastic location. Newbattle Secondary School was delayed by a couple of years due to the inability of the Scottish Government to settle on a suitable funding model. I campaigned hard for the location of the School to be between Mayfield and Gorebridge, but this was not successful. If I am elected again, the aim will be to make sure that a new secondary is built in Gorebridge over the coming years reflecting our growing population.
The removal of funding for the Police CAT squads, 14 front line officers dedicated to combating anti social behaviour and youth disorder has been a huge issue. We are told by the SNP that Midlothian does not have any greater problems with anti social behaviour than other counties do. However police data clearly shows that in our local police area (Lothians & Borders excluding Edinburgh), Midlothian has 18% of the population, but has just under 30% of the anti social behaviour calls. Labour has tried on several occassions to have this decision reversed and will reinstate the funding after the election if we are involved in running the council.
You can still sign the petition against these cuts here.