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Council Election 2017: Maryfield (Ward 5)

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The Maryfield ward is an all-encompassing part of Dundee city.

From the city’s jewel in the crown, the V&A Museum, to issues of poverty and drug abuse faced by residents of Stobswell, Maryfield represents promise and challenge.

More than 16,000 people live in the city centre ward.

Covering, among other areas, Slessor Gardens, City Quay, Stobswell, and Woodside, the Maryfield ward is perhaps the most prominent area of Dundee.

Local candidate Lynne Short concedes herself that balancing neighbouring areas of “wealth and poverty” is a particularly challenging aspect of representing the ward.

Residents have previously told local officers that drug and alcohol abuse, housebreaking, anti-social behaviour and prostitution are among the most pressing issues they are concerned with.

As such, while there is quite rightly much excitement over the imminent opening of the V&A and arrival of international music stars, residents are only too aware of the less attractive aspects of life in the ward.

Only earlier this year, this newspaper told of efforts by Stobswell supermarkets to prevent the thefts of everyday basics like shower gel.

Though there are doubtless challenges facing any future local representatives, it would be churlish and inaccurate to suggest Maryfield does not have a lot to offer.

From the ever evolving waterfront development to the work of charities like Boomerang, the area and its people have much to be proud of.

Whoever is elected on May 4 for the Maryfield ward will be tasked with representing Dundee city centre during arguably the most exciting time in the history of the City of Discovery.


Candidate profiles

The Courier invited each candidate to submit a short introduction to themselves and, if they wished, a video explaining why they deserve your vote.


Jenny Blain (Lib Dem)

Jenny, born and raised in Dundee, has lived here and elsewhere in Scotland, and worked as an academic sociologist in Canada and parts of England, before coming home.

Now she is keen to bring her experience to helping with local issues in Dundee.


James Clancy (Conservative)

James was born in Dundee and has spent his entire life here. He attended Macalpine Primary and Baldragon Academy, where he was head boy in his final year. He currently works as an administrative officer in a public sector organisation.

James has always shown an active interest in his city. Through his church, where he currently teaches a Sunday School class, he has been involved in many local community projects.

He would be a strong advocate for Maryfield and ensure that the economic developments from projects such as the waterfront and shared across all areas in Dundee.


Georgia Cruickshank (Labour)

Georgia was first elected to the Maryfield ward in 2012.

She says she became a councillor because she believes in supporting communities and has a good knowledge of how council and other services are organised.

Georgia describes herself as a hard working councillor representing local people in order to assist them to enhance their quality of life.

She attends local meetings and has established accessible surgeries, providing a voice to previously underrepresented groups.

Achievements include her work to secure the refurbishment of sheltered housing lounges and environmental improvements around the ward, a disabled ramp for a wheelchair user and her campaign against the sale of legal highs.

She supports the developments of social housing in the ward and is a strong advocate of decent housing for all.


Stuart Fairweather (Dundee Against Cuts/TUSC)

Stuart Fairweather is a community worker with over 30 years’ experience.

This includes establishing and supporting community groups, projects and festivals in Stobswell and the city centre.

Stuart represents council workers on a daily basis with Unite the Union and is chairperson of Dundee Trade Union Council.


Ken Lynn (SNP)

I have lived in Stobswell for around 20 years and it has been an honour to represent the people of the Maryfield ward on Dundee City Council since 2007.

I’ve seen huge improvements in that time and I love living in a city which is on the way up, as Dundee is.

During my time on the council I have undertaken a number of important roles and served as convener of the social work and health committee until it was replaced by a new health and social care partnership, of which I’m now chair.

I worked in this area for many years and helping to find solutions to improve the health and general wellbeing of our citizens is something I’m passionate about.


Robbie McKaig (Lib Dem)

Robbie, 21, attended St Paul’s Academy and is in full-time education studying HNC built environment, working towards a career in building surveying by progression through college then university.

He also has a part-time job working at his local Co-op food store.

He has a keen interest in politics and is always willing to help voice his opinions and for those who may not necessarily have one.


Lynne Short (SNP)

I attended “Bell St Tech” and gained a BA in commerce.

From there I moved into the polypropylene industry for a number of years before heading overseas to work in mainland Europe as a tour guide.

I returned home in 2002 and worked for a short time as a civil servant before moving into property.

I believe my varied background and transferable skills make me an excellent candidate.

I was first elected to the city council on March 31 2016. On being elected I said I would hit the ground running and am confident I have been true to my word.