THERE are seven candidates standing for election in the Cowdenbeath and Kelty ward.
With the change to two wards being represented on the Cowdenbeath Area Committee through the deletion of the Lochs, there will be at least two new members representing this seat.
Labour’s Peter Lockhart has retired and with four councillors needed for the seat, at least two new members will be chosen from the seven candidates.
We will be giving the candidates, two from Labour, two from the SNP, a Green Party representative, a Conservative and a Scottish Liberal/Democrat candidate, the opportunity to get their message across before polling day on May 4.
Alistair Bain, Scottish National Party
I HAVE been an SNP councillor for Cowdenbeath over the last 10 years, and with your support on May 4, I hope I can continue to represent our community.
I believe the Cowdenbeath ward has been poorly served for far too long. Plans not coming to fruition and other planned projects running late, or decisions taken and then changed.
I want real consultation with the communities within Cowdenbeath. We need meaningful discussions to help move Cowdenbeath forward and improve our local amenities. For too long our community has been let down by the Labour administration, with decisions taken in Fife House and at Cowdenbeath area without consulting the people.
As long as I remain an SNP councillor I will always listen to, and fight for our community.
Ann Bain, Scottish National Party.
I HAVE lived in the ward for 29 years. I was first elected to the Lochs ward in 2007, and this time I will be standing as part of Team Bain for Cowdenbeath Ward 7.
I am also the SNP spokesperson for Fairer Fife and Safer Communities, advocating to ensure vulnerable people are protected from Tory austerity forced on us from Westminster.
I believe that decision making needs to be made locally, and an SNP administration in Fife will ensure that the Cowdenbeath area committee can make real and meaningful decisions.
The council should hold consultations before making decisions, not after decisions have been taken. This election is about local issues.
Vote Ann Bain 1 then Alistair Bain 2, vote for local champions to represent you. Local champions that have the vision to empower our community, and put you at the heart of the decision making process.
Alex Campbell, Labour Party.
ONE of the best bits of being a councillor that I really enjoy is meeting with teachers and pupils in our local schools and seeing the great work they do.
Local councils can make a difference in terms of the support and investment they make in education.
I want to see more done to ensure every child in Fife can get the very best start.
Over these last five years Fife Council under Labour built more council houses than any other area of the country and yet it is not enough.
That is why I will continue to push for more house building along with the apprenticeships and jobs it brings.
A home, a job, and good education for children, these are the building blocks of stable and secure communities. Cowdenbeath, Crossgates, Hill of Beath, Kelty and Lumphinnans are all good places to live and if elected I will work for investment and improvement.
Angela Dixon, Scottish Green Party
OUR frail elderly population is increasing in Fife.
Younger family members have often moved away or have to work so social care workers are very important.
The Scottish Green Party wants better pay and conditions for care workers. This is a physically and emotionally demanding job and we need to attract and retain quality carers. We want pay of £9.20 an hour “Living Wage Plus” including pay for handover shifts, time spent travelling between jobs and travelling expenses.
We support the development of rapid response teams to provide care quickly in urgent circumstances.
Fife Council should ensure there are enough care homes for the very frail, and favour smaller more homely homes over large institutions.
Gary Guichan, Labour Party
I HAVE represented the Cowdenbeath ward since May 2014 and it has been a huge honour to represent the area in which I was born and have spent most of my life.
I was an apprentice in Rosyth Dockyard but decided to re-enter full time education and graduated from Edinburgh University with an honours degree in Politics & Social Policy. Since then my work has been a mixture of local government and the voluntary sector. The issues facing the council revolve around the cuts imposed by both the Tory and SNP governments and the problems that poses for balancing budgets.
In the last five years Fife Labour have built, or are building, three care homes and 2700 affordable houses – 100 are new council houses in Cowdenbeath. We are providing a new community centre and skatepark and committed funds to upgrade the leisure centre and provide new playparks across the area.
Elizabeth Riches, Liberal Democrats
AS MANY of us grow older the pressures on the social services within the council increase.
Care for those who need it is best delivered at home, if that is safe to do. Carers play a vital part in all of this and Liberal Democrats want to value their efforts, whether voluntary or paid.
Support is needed in training and decent shift patterns that allow a good job to be carried out. Many elderly people are simply lonely and value the chance to have a chat without the carer having to hurry from job to job.
It will take careful planning to achieve this and more volunteers are needed. In some places befriending services are being trialled and are proving successful. Listening to the ideas of those in need of care and those giving it is the Lib Dem way.
Darren Watt, Scottish Conservatives
MY FAMILY and I are lucky to live next to Cowdenbeath Public Park but are disappointed with the lack of diverse equipment and activities.
We are, however, fortunate enough to have a recently built play park. Some areas have dated play parks, others have none at all.
When out canvassing in Lumphinnans, I spoke with some mums in Hope Street.
They had five toddlers among them and they were all confined to a garden as the play park directly opposite is completely unsuitable.
If elected, I will ensure our play parks are upgraded with equipment that encourages group play and have better areas for age specific groups.
I would also ensure every upgrade and new play park has equipment and infrastructure to cater for those with disabilities and their family/carer.
Prior to planning, I will consult children and families to ensure that we do not build uninspiring and limited use play parks.