Former SNP Group Leader on Falkirk Council and veteran of countless local by-elections, David Alexander, casts a critical eye over the forthcoming by-election to find a replacement for John McNally on Falkirk Council following the election to Westminster of the popular Denny man.
In particular the failure of Labour to select a local candidate for this local election comes under greater scrutiny.
“Once Denny and Banknock were the heart of the Labour Party’s dominance of local politics but the recent announcement that they could not find a suitable local candidate to stand in the forthcoming Falkirk Council by-election in that ward confirms the spiral of decline of Labour locally.
Andrew Bell may well be an amiable individual but the selection of a candidate for a local election who resides in Larbert is hardly an endorsement of the principal of local representation.
However, much more significantly it tells a story of the lack of confidence in the record of the electoral pact between Labour and the Conservatives that runs Falkirk Council that has alienated and embarrassed many traditional Labour voters and members of that party.
Gross financial mismanagement, slashing of services, failure on the town centre regeneration programme and selection of the wrong priorities such as the proposed £20m new council headquarters have added to the disconnect with a party with only one Scottish MP when previously they dominated.
Knocking the doors in Denny and Banknock it is clear that it is the SNP who are viewed as the defender of ordinary people and the main opposition to the most right wing Tory Government this country has seen in living memory.
For Labour, they are left with a b-election no one in the local party wants nor are any of them prepared to put their heads above the parapet and try to sell the record to their friends and neighbours.
The Tories on the other hand do have a local candidate who will; I have no doubt, be claiming that with a Tory Depute Leader of Falkirk Council and a Tory Depute Provost they are at the heart of Falkirk Council political decision making, courtesy of the Labour Party. They will claim that Tory policies are being implemented every day and they are correct in this but these are not the policies the people of Denny and Banknock want to see.
Is it any wonder no local Labour member was prepared to represent that coalition when the people of Denny & Banknock go to the polls on 13 August to elect a local Councillor.”
Cllr David Alexander
SNP Group Falkirk Council
The full list of candidates is at;