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Council Election 2017: The Ferry (Ward 8)

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The Ferry ward – comprising Balmossie, Barnhill, Panmurefield Village and Broughty Ferry – was recently spared being split in two, following a review by the boundary commission.

With the exception of Ferry councillor Derek Scott, council members initially backed the split proposals, which were eventually rejected after a public campaign brought about by concerned Ferry residents.

Nine candidates will compete for four available seats – two from the SNP, two from the Conservatives and one each from Scottish Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the Greens, Dundee Against Cuts (TUSC) and UKIP.

Current council administration leader Ken Guild steps down after more than 30 years in politics – and more than a decade as SNP group leader.

Councillor Vari McDonald, who until May represents the people of the West End ward, will try to reclaim his seat for the party, alongside current Ferry councillor Kevin Cordell.

The Conservatives are not only putting forward two candidates, but two brothers, with Derek and Philip Scott.

Derek is currently Dundee’s sole Conservative councillor, and the party will be hoping to double the number of Scotts and Tories in the city chambers.

Angela Lyall is running for Scottish Labour, whose education spokesman Laurie Bidwell is stepping down after more than a decade on the council.

Craig Duncan is standing for the Liberal Democrats, and UKIP Scotland chairman Calum Walker is also running, as well as Pol Clementsmith of the Scottish Greens and Paul Johnson of Dundee Against Cuts (TUSC).

Residents in the Ferry are supported by a popular community council who helped spearhead the boundary protests, as well as raising issues regarding parking in Broughty Ferry, planning and development management across the ward, school provision and supporting local business.


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.


Pol Clementsmith (Green)

Pol has lived in Dundee for more than 30 years, and after a career in TV and film, decided to retrain as a lawyer.

He said: “More than half of the council tax revenue collected in Dundee (55%) is used to service sky high interest rate loans from the UK Government and private banks.

“This means that less than half of what you pay each month actually goes towards our local services. This is simply unacceptable.

“The Scottish Greens are the only party advocating for an amnesty on these historic, pre-devolution loans so that locally raised revenues are distributed effectively and sustainably within our community and not thrown away on never-ending interest payments.

Our priority in this election is to put power back in people’s hands. Dundee City Council needs more Green voices, speaking up for strong public services.”


Kevin Cordell (SNP)

Kevin has represented the Ferry since 2012 and has lived in Broughty Ferry his whole life, having attended Eastern and Grove. He currently lives in Balgillo with his wife and two children, who both attend Forthill Primary.

He said: “I was appointed depute convener of housing and more recently served as depute convener of neighbourhood services.

“I am a member of the licensing board, which is responsible for licensed premises across the city. I am also a member of the scrutiny committee, which holds the council to account.

“I am an elected member representative on the board of the Broughty Ferry Benevolent Fund, as well as the Ferry’s Local Community Planning Partnership.”


Craig Duncan (Lib Dem)

Craig Duncan is the Liberal Democrat Focus Team candidate for the Ferry Ward.

Craig is the editor of the regular Ferry Focus local newsletter delivered to all households in Broughty Ferry, West Ferry and Barnhill.

Born and raised in Dundee, he has an honours degree in government and modern history and he runs his own local business in the city.

He said: “If elected as a councillor, I promise to be a tireless champion all year round on behalf of the people of Broughty Ferry, Barnhill and West Ferry and to tackle the local issues residents care about and which affect them on a day to day basis.”


Paul Johnson (Dundee Against Cuts/TUSC)

Born and raised in the Fintry area, Paul has his own business and has been an active in various campaigns over the past few years.

These include establishing and promoting youth football in the West End and more recently he played a valuable roll in the successful health centre campaign to secure more GPs for Lochee.

Paul was also a campaigner for independence during the 2014 referendum. He has many connections to the Ferry through family members and many friends who live there and he’s a regular there.

He said: “I have noticed the steady decline in an area famed for beauty and leisure and I’m determined to make a difference.

“I am 100% anti-austerity and believe that further cuts in council budgets will mean less and less invested in communities like the Ferry.”


Angela Lyall (Labour)

She said: “I have lived in Broughty Ferry all my life. I attended both Forthill Primary School and Grove Academy. I am married and have four sons.”

Angela qualified as a social worker at Dundee University and has almost 20 years’ experience working with children and families and older people, including those with dementia.

She said: “I feel strongly that young, old and vulnerable people in our community should have the opportunity to achieve the best possible life chances.

“If elected to the city council, I promise to work hard for The Ferry and be your representative, championing the services and issues that are important you you and therefore important to me, my family, my friends, neighbours and our community. Lets get a fair share for the Ferry.”


Vari McDonald (SNP)

Vari has served on Dundee City Council for five years, having first been elected in 2012. She lives in Ferryfields (at Clearwater) with her young family.

Vari has lived in and around Broughty Ferry and Monifieth since she was a child. She currently serves as depute convener of neighbourhood services on the council, with responsibility for housing, waste management, play parks and open spaces, and adult learning.

Vari is the council’s representative on the board of Dundee Heritage Trust, which is responsible for Discovery and Verdant Works, and is a board member of Dundee Contemporary Arts.

Vari also serves on the college council of the city’s Al-Maktoum College of Higher Education.

In addition to Council Committee meetings, Vari attends local community meetings, and has recently attended the Broughty Ferry Community Council, as well as the Barnhill Tenants and Residents Association.


Derek Scott (Conservative)

He said: “It is a huge privilege to represent The Ferry ward on Dundee City Council. I have been a Broughty Ferry councillor for over 20 years. I hold a drop-in advice surgery every Saturday morning and issue a regular newsletter across the ward.

“Since the last election, I have successfully dealt with hundreds of enquiries on behalf of local residents and community groups and played a part in getting many improvements made in the area.

“Broughty Ferry has a unique character and qualities that make it such a very special place, and I will continue to do everything I can to make sure that nothing happens to diminish this.”


Philip Scott (Conservative)

He said: “It is an honour to have been selected as a Scottish Conservative and Unionist candidate for The Ferry ward. My brother, Derek, has served as a councillor here for over 20 years, and I hope to join him on the council, working together for local residents.

“I currently work in local government, but previously ran a petrol station in Broughty Ferry with my family. I have also served in the Territorial Army.

“Many Ferry householders have seen a big increase in council tax from this month, so they should get a fair share of council resources in return. If elected, this will be a priority.”


Calum Walker (UKIP)

He said: “I am 25 and went to Dundee High School before graduating from Dundee University and currently work for an industrial wholesaler.

“I don’t want to put up taxes. We should be spending money wisely, not increasing the burden on hard working families.

“I will argue for the increases in business rates bills to be offset and for there to be no increase in council tax.

“We don’t need to raise taxes. We need to scrap vanity projects like Gaelic road signs and keep others, like the waterfront development, under control.”