Monday, 26 March 2007


Scottish Socialist Party East Dunbartonshire Council Candidates



The people of Twechar have suffered for years from a privatised transport system that puts profits before people. We have had to campaign time after time just to keep the irregular evening bus service. We are a prime example of the shortcoming of Scotland’s expensive and inadequate public transport system.

With congestion and pollution choking our towns and cities and scientists ringing the alarm bells over global warming, we need radical action.

By scrapping the £4 billion of prestige transport projects such as M74 and the Edinburgh airport rail-link, we could fund the infrastructure for an expanded, publicly-owned transport network. And by imposing a modest payroll tax on big business, we could run our buses, trains, ferries and underground free of charge.

A vote for the SSP is vote for fare-free transport.


East Dunbartonshire council says they want to modernise housing in Twechar. Sounds good except they plan to demolish 185 council houses and only rebuild 80 for renting. Another 40 will be partly sold off to the private sector. This will result in more expensive rents, - an immediate rise of 10% and the scrapping of the two weeks free rent in March and at Christmas. There will be no guaranteed future rent caps, even though every other scheme like this over the past few years in other areas across Scotland have had this promise. A quick look at the sums shows that some local people will be forced to move out of the area.

This is not a housing solution to suit the people of Twechar. It is being forced on us without a ballot. Why is the council scared to let people have their say? They are scared we would insist on a better solution to our local housing needs.

Nationally, the SSP promise to fight to for 100,000 new homes for rent - bringing house-building in the social rented sector into line with the private sector. Sky-high property values mean misery, overcrowding and even homelessness for hundreds of thousands of young people and low paid workers.

We want to build flats for young people and houses with gardens for young families. To fund that ambitious programme, we will campaign for the cancellation of all local authority housing debt, and for councils to be allowed to levy a ‘millionaire’s tax’ on all land and property worth over a million pounds.

A vote for the SSP is a vote to build high quality housing for low-cost rent.


We only have to look at the two closest General Hospitals to Twechar, Stobhill and Monklands to see that the NHS is no longer safe in new Labours hands. As regards Stobhill, the arrogant Labour Party turned it’s back on huge campaigns to keep it a General Hospital whilst shovelling piles of your money into the long discredited and very poor PFI alternative. The SSP over a number of years have been to the forefront of campaigns to keep emergency services not only at Stobhill but also at Monklands.

With nearly 500 beds at Stobhill due to disappear, where will people go when they need treatment? The Royal in Glasgow is already overcrowded and just think of the problems getting there in an emergency.

Sure, Stobhill has been starved of funds in recent years. But the answer is to invest in the NHS for the future. New Labour only offers closures and privatisation. Stobhill has a pleasant environment and plenty room for expansion.

It was Socialists who set up the NHS – only Socialists can save it.

It is time to put people before profit. It is time to vote Scottish Socialist Party.



Moira Brown is a self-employed photographer who spends her spare time campaigning for social justice. Married to Eric, she has been living in Lenzie for two years. She believes that the Scottish Socialist Party provides an important voice for the people of Scotland and hopes you will become convinced of this too.

Moira believes that “we are already experiencing extreme capitalism in this country. Do we really want to be like the United States where a baby is more likely to die in New York than in the city of Beijing?”.

She also says: “If elected I will work hard to promote the rights of the community and individual constituents. I will also work to:

Promote the SSP’s programme for an integrated FREE PUBLIC TRANSPORT SYSTEM. And to campaign for the reopening of the rail line from Glasgow Queen St to Aberfoyle via Kirkintilloch, Milton of Campsie, Lennoxtown etc. (closed in 1966)

Promote the provision of free school meals for every child in East Dunbartonshire.

Oppose the current council tax system and promote a fairer income-based tax.

Oppose the sale of land to developers unless there is an adequate provision made for social housing.

Oppose the renewal of Trident as this could pay for sorting out all of the above! “


We, the Scottish Socialist Party have supported the Free School Meals campaign ( from the outset. The Executive has already made a concession which is the extension of free meals to children of families on maximum Working Families Tax Credit. This could mean that 70,000 – 93,000 more children from low-income families will become entitled to free school meals. This initiative was introduced in Hull in 2004 and has been a resounding success (according to teachers and health professionals alike). The cost of this? Pennies compared to the cost of hosting the Olympic games in London which is of no benefit to the people of Scotland whose taxes are helping to pay for it.

In the long term this policy will actually save money on:

(1) teaching time spent dealing with the consequences of hyperactive and/or undernourished children.

(2) improving every child’s chances in life so fewer fall by the wayside.

(3) NHS resources by forming good eating habits when children are young.

(4) social work time spent dealing with challenging children.

(5) administration (systems to collect money cost money).

THINKING THAT WOULD SOLVE THE CAR PARKING PROBLEM AT LENZIE STATION –- without building a multi-storey car park or introducing parking charges!

How could people in the 19th and much of the 20th century live without cars in Kirkintilloch and it’s environs, yet today the norm is that we need one each?

The answer to this question is threefold. Firstly, prior to the 1960’s if you lived in Kirkintilloch, Milton of Campsie or Lennoxtown, you could hop on a train into Glasgow. Secondly, train fares were a good deal cheaper then in comparison to the average wage. Thirdly, our ancestors did not have to worry about making a reservation for their bicycle! And these were the days when congestion and global warming were not even issues.

This railway branching off to Kirkintilloch from Lenzie is just one of the valuable railway routes that has been denied to the people of Scotland since that short sighted idiot Beeching had it closed. He is long gone but we are still suffering (those who have to finance a car just to have it sit all day at Lenzie train station and those living near the station who feel the parking is disrupting their lives). And the problem is getting worse.

Huge areas of Scotland could be regenerated if all the old railway routes/stations were reinstated and fares reduced to NIL. People could travel to work more easily, consider jobs that would otherwise be unfeasible and Scottish families could explore Scotland at the weekends. We live in a beautiful country but at present it cannot be explored properly without a car.

So how much would it cost to have a great, free integrated public transport system in Scotland? Well, it would cost a lot less, for example, than renewing Trident!

This is not a pipe dream we are talking about – this is something our great-great grand parents once took for granted and so should we.


Bill Newman has lived locally for some 12 years and has been active in politics and trade union activities throughout his adult life. He firmly believes that only socialism can bring about a fairer society locally and nationally. The Scottish Socialist Party is determined to challenge the self-seeking, business-friendly agendas of the LibDems, New Labour, Conservative and SNP at all levels.

He says, “In Milngavie, as elsewhere in East Dunbartonshire, I will:

__ Oppose the Council Tax and promote a fairer income-based tax.

__ Oppose the building of schools and hospitals by PFI (private finance) methods which raises costs to the local community, limits the facilties available and prioritises profits to private companies above the interests of pupils and patients.

__ Oppose the sale of land to private developers unless adequate provision is made for affordable property for rent.

__ Promote the provision of free school meals for all school children.

__ Promote the Scottish Socialist Party's programme for an integrated FREE PUBLIC TRANSPORT SYSTEM locally and nationally.

__ Protect and extend local facilities and the surroundings for all citizens, not least to improve the deteriorating condition of Milngavie town centre.

Public Transport in Milngavie could be greatly improved. The SSP propose a Free Public Transport System.

In the Belgian city of Hasselt, which covers an area double the size of Dundee, congestion was eliminated in the late 1980s after the introduction of a totally free public transport system. Within a year, bus passenger journeys rose by 870 per cent and have now increased by over 1000 per cent. In dismal contrast, the Scottish Executive has set a target for an annual increase of one per cent in bus journeys and two per cent in rail journeys.

In recent months, the Danish government has commissioned a research group to examine the feasibility of a free public transport system (Copenhagen Post November 22, 2006 ).

The Melbourne Age newspaper, edited by Andrew Jaspan (a former editor of the Sunday Herald, The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday) has called for state-wide free bus travel in Victoria (A radical idea, The Age, May 5 2006)

Matthew Parrish, a Tory MP under Margaret Thatcher, who played a key role in destroying South Yorkshire’s cheap fares policy, now admits he was wrong and has called for London-wide free bus travel: “I was wrong. I have changed my mind…Never mind the ideology, it just makes sense.” (It’s big, it’s red, and it’s free – and it will save London; The Times. May 8 2003)

Visit Scotland (formerly the Scottish Tourist Board) recently published a report which set out the policy implications of global warming by 2015: “In order to reduce dependency upon the car, we will see a number of measures to move people onto public transport. These will include free public transport for all in Scotland, whether this is buses or trains”. (Visit Scotland report: Tomorrow’s World, May 2006)

Neil Scott, Bearsden North -


Neil Scott is a husband, a father and a Primary School Teacher who lives in Castlehill, Bearsden. He has lived in Bearsden for seven years.

One of the few places children have to play football or other active games in the Courthill and Castlehill Areas is in front of the Courthill shops. There are plans to take this away from them.

I recognise the need for affordable housing, but affordable housing should not mean cramped housing. Cramming more houses into Courthill is going to ensure more teenagers on the streets with nothing to do. It wont be long until the only green to be seen in the area will be the empty bottles of buckfast.

The Council have a fantastic opportunity to build affordable housing and good facilities for children and teenagers on the huge space left vacant by St Andrews College - but seem to have gone down the path of minimal facilities for Bearsden Academy and more land for developers.

If elected, I will fight for facilities for children and teenagers in the Castlehill and Courthill area - and for affordable housing for our children when they leave home- built on freed up land instead of giving community owned land away for a song for more expensive flats and cheaply built, but expensive to buy housing for the gain of no-one only the developers.


Public Transport in Bearsden is horrendous. For example, if you want to go to Clydebank (10 min away by car) you have to change bus -either getting a bus from a different company (negating the cheap tickets the journey can cost £4.50) -or waiting for the bus from the same company which can make the journey last over an hour if you don't time it right (one bus an hour). If you want to go to Milngavie then you have to walk to Baljaffray - not ideal if you are from Castlehill or Courthill and you've got a disability or have children.

Those of us commuting into Glasgow find tickets by train are £12.50 a week—there is no incentive to leave the car at home.

I recently had this letter published in the Evening Times:

I notice the Times photographer was outside the school I work in as a teacher today to take photographs of parents parking on the zig-zag lines.

Could I suggest that the newly announced SSP policy of FREE PUBLIC TRANSPORT would help combat the congestion and dangerous parking in the mornings outside most schools?

In my opinion this will take people out of their cars and give our cities - and in turn our children- the pollution free breathing space they need.
I noticed this article in the Herald about this policy -

I promise to fight for a national free public transport system to turn Scotland into the clean, green capital of the world. With congestion and pollution choking our towns and cities and scientists ringing the alarm bells over global warming, we need radical action. By scrapping the £4 billion of prestige transport projects such as M74 and the Edinburgh airport rail-link, we could fund the infrastructure for an expanded, publicly-owned transport network. And by imposing a modest payroll tax on big business, we could run our buses, trains, ferries and underground free of charge. A vote for the SSP is vote for fare-free transport.

For more details on joining the S.S.P. and your local branch please contact our national offices below. Make sure to leave your name, address and phone number. Or you can email

East Dunbartonshire SSP,

70 Stanley Street
Glasgow G41 1JB

tel: 0141-429-8200

fax: 0141-429-8040

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