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Four in running for council ward by-election

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By Fiona Reid
Four in running for council ward by-election

A TWENTY-year-old student, an ex pharmacist, a community councillor and a former MSP are all hopeful they will take the Annandale North ward seat in next month’s by-election. The winner from the four candidates — Chris Ballance, Doug Fairbairn, Sylvia Moffat and Adam Wilson—will be decided on Thursday November 17 when polling stations open up across the Annandale North ward. The winner will keep their seat until next May’s local council elections. This week DNG Media caught up with all four candidates.




FORMER Green Party MSP Chris Ballance hopes to win the Annandale North by-election next month. Chris has lived in Moffat for 13 years with his wife Alis and they have two children who attend Moffat Primary.
Chris said: “Scottish Greens would prioritise three issues in the short time before the next election. “Fast broadband speeds should be widely available to residents in the area, and the council has failed to pressure the Government and BT Openreach to provide it.
“Businesses in our region are penalised when they lack the broadband connections available to other communities.
“Decent public transport is also vital for business and people. The Council has failed to prioritise support for a new station at Beattock, ignoring the active campaign for it.
“Good bus services, vital for getting people to work on time and to access services, have been facing cuts and a lack of funding. “An unemployed person can’t access jobs without decent public transport.
“Finally it is high time the region complied with the law and rolled out doorstep recycling to the area — the vehicles they bought for it are still sitting in store four years on.
“People don’t want recyclable waste simply being burnt or sent to landfill.”



COMMUNITY campaigner Doug Fairbairn has been chosen by the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party to contest the upcoming by-election.
Doug, 47, lives and works in Dumfriesshire and is promising to hit the ground running on a number of issues if he is successful on November 17.
Speaking after being selected, he said: “It is a great honour to be selected to fight this by-election and I am really looking forward to getting out and speaking to local voters to hear about their concerns which I am also passionate about.
“Living with my wife Gwyneth and having brought up my two sons Kyle and Luke locally as well as having gone to St Joseph’s College in Dumfries I am more than ready for the challenge of being a councillor.
“I also work in Dumfries and deal with local people and businesses on a daily basis and that experience will be at the heart of my plans as a councillor.”
He added: “I would be extremely pro-active from day one taking up people’s concerns in order to bring about real change for people living in Annandale North.”
Doug has served as a community councillor in Torthorwald for six years and believes this has given him a real understanding of how the council operates.



RETIRED community pharmacist Sylvia Moffat has been selected as the SNP’s candidate to run in the Annandale North ward by-election.
Local activist Sylvia said: “It’s wonderful that the members across the ward have put faith in me as their candidate. “Having lived, worked and been active in the local community for more than 30 years,I believe I have a good grasp of the issues people care about locally.
“I will work tirelessly to win the ward, and if successful I will continue to work tirelessly for the local community.”
Sylvia worked as the pharmacy manager in Moffat for over ten years before taking early retirement to help her husband Christopher on the farm.
Before taking her position in Moffat she also worked in both Lockerbie and Lochmaben pharmacies. Sylvia currently serves as secretary of Moffat and District Community Council and has enjoyed being involved helping the community with various issues.
She is an active member of the Beattock Station Action Group, mainly helping with fundraising, as well as the treasurer of the Moffat Water Hall Committee.



AT just 20 years old, Adam Wilson from Lochmaben is the youngest candidate and if elected would be the region’s youngest councillor.
Adam attended Lochmaben Primary and Lockerbie Academy, and is currently studying Business Management at the University of Edinburgh. He previously represented the local area as a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament, and is a former member of both Lochmaben and Lockerbie Community Councils.
Adam said: “Annandale North needsafresh start, with a fresh voice standing up for local people’s needs, who will work hard for our local area—not more of the same tired faces who fail to offer an alternative to the neglect and cuts our area faces.
“If elected I will work hard to see a new direction being taken which matches the priorities of this part of the region.
“We urgently need to tackle the GP crisis in Moffat, the parking problems around Lockerbie Rail Station, the continuing threat to local policing, speeding in Lochmaben High Street, and need to protect and improve local services which are threatened with more cuts.
“Slogans won’t solve our local issues, dedication and hard work can — and that is my pledge to local people.



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