As part of our election coverage we have approached every candidate asking them to introduce themselves, and let us know the issues that are important to them, whether local or national. The following response is from Independent candidate, James Glen, who is standing for election in the Lochgelly, Cardenden and Benarty ward.
I have decided to stand as an Independent candidate for the Lochgelly, Cardenden and Benarty ward in May’s Fife Council election. It’s the logical outcome of my work as a volunteer with many local groups, as a community activist for over 15 years and as both secretary and chair of Lochgelly Community Council.
I’ve spent a lot of time engaging with Fife Council to get a better deal for our community in areas as diverse as planning, Mossmorran and GP access and helping community initiatives such as the Gala Committee, Growing in Lochgelly and Lochgelly Heritage Group.
Dealing with the Council as a private individual is often an uphill struggle, and I believe I can be more effective inside Fife Council as your democratically elected representative.
People are sick fed up of party politics and political infighting. As an Independent councillor, my only interest will be to get the best I possibly can for Lochgelly, Cardenden and Benarty.
Too many councillors have let down their communities by putting party interests first, or pursuing vanity projects as a short-cut to popularity. They often forget they are not paid to big up themselves or their party; they are paid by the Council to represent the ward which elected them. This is one reason why so many core facilities and services in our communities continue to lag behind other parts of Fife.
People have put a lot of time and effort into creating Community Action Plans for the three areas, and I want to see them put at the heart of Fife Council’s work here.
The community website Loch of Shining Waters, which I helped set up and have contributed to for seven years, has tried to bring transparency and accountability to local government in Central Fife by scrutinizing the performance of private developers, local charities, community councils and Fife Council itself among others.
I hoped that greater transparency would both give people the information to become more engaged in their local communities and put pressure on these bodies to improve their own poor and often secretive practice. Now is the time to take that push for greater accountability, transparency and community engagement into Fife Council itself.
You can read my manifesto at: https://jamesglen.org.uk/manifesto/