Cllr David Meikle is the Conservative councillor for Pollokshield Ward in Glasgow.
I’ve been the only Conservative councillor in Glasgow for ten years, but I think that can change at the local government elections on 4th May. I believe we have a real chance of increasing the number of Conservative councillors in the city. Here’s why I think we can win.
Conservatives in Glasgow are in a positive mood. At last year’s Scottish Parliament election, we secured for the first time, the election of two MSPs for the Glasgow Region – increasing our share of the vote by 5.8 per cent and more than doubling the number of votes from 12,749 to 29,533.
Since the formation of one association for the city in 2013 we have become Team Glasgow – delivering leaflets and speaking to more voters than ever, right across Glasgow. Our membership has grown, we have more activists, and new people are coming forward to stand for the party.
Volunteers are already out campaigning in the city with the aim of electing more councillors. Our message to voters is: elect a councillor who will work hard for local communities and be a strong voice on the Council.
We also want to move Glasgow forward by promoting economic growth and jobs. It was the Conservative government that delivered the City Deal for Glasgow and we want to take full advantage of it by supporting businesses and infrastructure projects across the city.
Conservatives will therefore be fighting a positive campaign. In stark contrast, Labour is failing Glasgow. Currently the Labour administration is just hanging on to control of the Council – and at Holyrood and Westminster level they have lost seats to the SNP.
What’s clear is Labour has controlled the Council for too long and has become tired and complacent – they have taken Glasgow for granted. What’s also clear from the recent Scottish election is that unionist voters are leaving Labour and supporting the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party.
The SNP has let Glasgow down too. The SNP government in Edinburgh has centralised and sucked power away from Glasgow. Only the Conservatives believe in localism – devolving power from central to local government and from local government to communities.
We will also provide a real opposition to the SNP and oppose a second independence referendum. Conservative councillors will work for Glasgow, not for independence.
It is predicted that the SNP could win the election. Labour losing Glasgow after decades in power would be a blow to them. Winning Glasgow is a huge prize but it matters because there are crucial decisions to be made like setting the Council Tax and spending a budget of £2bn on services that citizens rely on every day.
That’s why this election is so important and every vote will count. Voters across Glasgow will be electing 85 councillors in 23 wards, using the Single Transferable voting system. We will be standing candidates in every ward. We will be working hard to elect more councillors in the city – and to play a part in deciding the future direction of Glasgow.