I had a fantastic childhood growing up in Danderhall and Dalkeith, too many great memories to list here, but one of those was Danderhall BMX track. Midlothian Council had the vision to undertake such a project, and when completed, Danderhall BMX track was the best in Scotland. Danderhall hosted multiple national and regional events and brought visitors from all over the country, including Sir Chris Hoy who began his racing career at Danderhall. As such, I know how councils can have a positive impact on children, not only in education but also in the community. There were also the brilliant community events that sadly no longer exist, such as the annual gala day and the Miners Club trips.
If elected, I give an absolute commitment to fight for the best possible solution (in consultation with residents and community groups) to upgrading/replacing Danderhall Primary School with a modern education facility and to do everything I can to resume the Danderhall Gala Day, working with residents, community groups and volunteers.
Antisocial Behaviour and Police Community Action Teams (CAT)
The current SNP administration is completely withdrawing the CAT team funding which will see 14 officers removed from the streets of Midlothian and re-deployed elsewhere within Police Scotland. It is no coincidence that we see an increase in youth antisocial behaviour throughout Midlothian, and Dalkeith in particular, during the phasing out of CAT officers who’s duties are specifically to deal with these issues.
Having worked with Police Scotland for over 10 years, I know the resource challenges they encounter. The police CAT team officers are invaluable, dealing with youth ASB therefore reducing the demands on local policing which allows them to respond quicker to other ongoing incidents.
A Midlothian Labour administration will reverse the funding cuts to the CAT team officers, resulting in 14 extra police officers on our streets than would otherwise be under an SNP administration.
Dalkeith Public Toilets
I doubt there is anyone who visits Dalkeith on a regular basis that hasn’t used the public toilet. Well, Midlothian Council’s SNP administration along with the Green Councillor have agreed to ‘Review’ the public toilet facilities in Midlothian. Undoubtedly this means closures of public toilets, which I find inconceivable.
I will campaign relentlessly to fight against any proposed closure of our public toilet.
Digital Inclusion (or reducing Digital Exclusion)
Digital exclusion affects the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups in society.
- 37% of those who are digitally excluded are social housing tenants.
- 17% of people earning less than £20,000 never used the Internet, as opposed to 2% of people earning more than £40,000.
- 33% of people with registered disabilities have never used the Internet. This is 54% of the total number of people who have never used the Internet.
I will organise free workshops and attend group/community events for those who would like to learn or develop digital skills.
I will treat everyone with dignity and respect, and work selflessly to help improve the quality of people’s lives in Midlothian.