Disabled campaigner will stand for May election

editorial image

Disability rights campaigner Sandy Taylor and East 
Dunbartonshire Council
leader Rhondda Geekie are
to go head-to-head in the
local elections.

The pair have clashed regularly for the past two years over the shared space project in Kirkintilloch.

Mr Taylor, who is blind, has led the campaign against the controversial scheme.

He will contest Ward 6b Lenzie and Kirkintilloch South as an Independent candidate on May 4.

Councillor Rhondda Geekie (Lab) who has been head of the council for the past 10 years, is hoping to retain the seat.

Mr Taylor, who lives in Kirkintilloch, said he has decided to contest the ward mainly because of the “debacle in Kirkintilloch town centre,”

In a statement released this week, he said: “I could no longer stand by and watch the current East Dunbartonshire Council administration mismanage our local authority.

“Consultation has become a box ticking exercise for appeasement purposes as proper and meaningful consultations no longer take place.

“The most glaring of all reasons for wishing to stand up for the local community is the debacle in the town centre of Kirkintilloch, which has become a ghost town, where hundreds of local people are now excluded, as a direct result of council policy.

“The pursuit of funding came before all other considerations and I have first-hand experience of the sham which was claimed to be rigorous and extensive consultation. I therefore wish to represent the people of East Dunbartonshire who have supported my campaign during the past two years.

“As an Independent, I would not have to toe the party line and am responsible solely to my constituents whom I wish to serve”.

Councillor Geekie responded: “I am disappointed Mr Taylor thinks we did not listen to him as there were a large number of changes made to the scheme because of his input.

“We always promised we would monitor the scheme and if the removal of traffic lights is not acceptable or working then that has to be revisited. I have pledged to do that.

“I am most certainly listening although disappointed as it did work elsewhere. This administration has much to be proud of. Whilst managing severe cuts to our revenue budgets, we have saved services. The much needed capital improvements to Kirkintilloch which include reopening the town hall, also gained other external funding for the town.

“Obviously I am standing again and hope to continue to do the best I can for local people as I have been privileged to do for over 20 years”.