Councillor Russell Imrie
Up until 2012 as a Labour Council we were forging ahead with the renewal of our schools and had laid the foundations for that programme to continue. Many children were enjoying their new schools and the teaching staff had first class facilities delivering a high standard of education.
Our Council House building programme was second to none in Scotland providing much needed accommodation for those on the waiting list. This build programme has slowed down while waiting lists grow
After May 2012 it became more and more difficult to deliver this programme as the new SNP/Independent Tory administration had a very different agenda answering to their SNP masters in the Scottish Parliament.
Despite this, I was still able to achieve progress on a number of issues that were raised with me.
- I managed to secure funding for the refurbishment of Memorial Park in Loanhead
- I put funding into the Christmas Lights purchase for Loanhead
- I part funded the new cycle track within Beeslack School
- I successfully got a motion through the Council for the replacement of Paradykes School in Loanhead
- I was pleased to be witness to the opening of Bilston Primary School which had been planned since 2010 bringing a single stream education system to Bilston for the very first time
- I joined up with the campaign group in Roslin to successfully retain the library
But there is still much to do. In spite of submitting motions to the Council and numerous meetings with officials I have still not been able to secure the delivery of a Community Hub for Rosewell. Labour committed to deliver on this prior to the election in 2012 but as we did not form the new Council administration it has not been delivered. I have continued to work with the Rosewell Development Trust to have this delivered; if re-elected and if Labour forms the administration this hub will be delivered.
Bus Services need to be re-evaluated in Midlothian West. Auchendinny, a growing community, has no bus service at all. As there are no facilities in Auchendinny, apart from the Community Centre, residents need a bus to go to the shops or Doctor or Dentist. If you don’t have a car then you are socially excluded.
In the case of Rosewell; we did manage to get a service every twenty minutes. This lasted for only a few months as the frequency was reduced to a 30 minutes service with every other bus from Edinburgh now terminating at Sherrifhall. When challenged the excuse given was the Edinburgh is so congested that buses cannot keep to the timetable.
It’s time for the way buses are provided to be reviewed again so that Councils can have more say and responsibility for running them.
This would mean that Social Inclusion would become a priority when awarding contracts.
For those of you who live in Midlothian West like me you cannot help but notice the increased congestion. We need funding to be made available to invest in our infrastructure now; all the development that is going to happen over the next few years will bring more misery for commuters.
If re-elected I give this commitment that I will continue to campaign for all the above and I will not be frightened of going to the Scottish Government and asking them to make the necessary funding available to make Midlothian West an even better place to live.