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 Scottish National party candidate, Rosemary Liewald, who is standing for election in the Lochgelly, Cardenden and Benarty ward.
I have lived and worked in Cardenden for the past 18 years and worked in Fife Education Services for all of that time in Denend Primary and Cardenden Primary . With my husband we raised our three children in the village and over those years my involvement has included, the Swimming Club, the Scout Group, Bike ability and other various groups within the area. My experience of campaigning during my years within the SNP led me to be involved with the Community Council which opened my eyes to the greater need for a local voice to be heard at Fife Council. Working in education I know that listening to those who need support is a role that both educationalists and councillors must share. This Ward needs a councillor who has this ability and is capable of listening to the community and acting on its wishes. Recent decisions by the Labour led Fife Council have shown that they are not prepared to listen, and recent events prove this: with their denial of educational investment and their ignoring the views of the local community with regard to Loch Ore Country Park and their ambivalence to huge concerns over local transport.
I believe that the best people to decide the future of our communities are the people who live in them. To this end the Government is introducing legislation to allow local oversight of the councils spending on communities. An SNP led council will also use the Communities Empowerment Act to tailor business rates to particular areas to stimulate and attract businesses into those areas to help build the communities where we live and work. Another key to building healthier happier communities is the provision of good quality homes. Using a new Rural Housing Fund we will be able to build affordable homes better suited to our older people and young families. We also hope to bring empty properties back into use by making funds available through new “Empty Homes” Funds, again to give everyone the opportunity of living in a safe, warm and affordable home.
Working in local schools I know how devastating the upcoming Labour Education cuts are going to be. 100 Staff posts will not be filled, this is purely a local council decision and must be reversed to safeguard our children’s education. In addition the SNP Scottish Government has given £10 million directly to the Head Teachers including £3,736,800 to this areas schools alone. There will also be almost doubling childcare and early years learning to 30 hours a week. Having trained as a nursery nurse I know that nursery education is all about giving children the best start in life. Increasing the number of teachers and graduates in nurseries is absolutely crucial to tackling the attainment gap right from the start of a child’s education.
Scotland has a wealth of natural resources. I will do my best to encourage communities to be involved in the land they live in, and support community ownership .I am extremely proud of Scotland’s ambition on climate change. There will be no fracking or underground coal gasification in Fife and throughout Scotland unless it can be proved beyond any doubt that it will not harm our environment, communities or public health. I will also work to support the further growth of community and locally owned renewable energy projects, and ensure that by 2020, at least half of newly consented renewable energy projects will have an element of shared ownership. This is a far better vision for Fife and one which I intend to work toward if elected to represent the people in Ward 8.