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Council Election 2017: Dunfermline South (Ward 4)

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Taking in the town’s eastern expansion, Dunfermline South has seen a huge
population rise in recent years.

Unsurprisingly, the availability of school places is a concern for many families who have moved to the area, with more houses yet to be completed.

Despite concerns about pressure on the area’s primary schools, Fife
Council’s education department gave an assurance last year that there was
enough capacity to cope.

There are also plans to replace St Columba’s and Woodmill high schools. The buildings date back to the 1960s and are now deteriorating.

The layout of the urban sprawl at Duloch has led to high dependency on
car use, and the area being somewhat cut off from the town centre.

The ward also includes the Abbeyview housing estate. There has recently
been investment in new housing in Abbeyview, but the area is struggling
to hold on to important local services.

Abbeyview Community Centre had faced closure as Fife Council looked to
save on maintenance and running costs of some of its buildings, but
the centre was saved after a local campaign.

However, Abbeyview has now lost its library.

The library had seen an increase in PC use of 23% over the past six years
with a 10% rise in visitor numbers over the same period.

Council leader David Ross said the authority had to make “very difficult
decisions” as a result of financial challenges.

But the SNP has pledged to reinstate the library if successful in the local


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.


James Calder (Lib Dem)

James Calder is the Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate for Dunfermline South and he is hoping to succeed
Tony Martin who is retiring
this year.

Mr Calder said he is determined to be a champion for local people, rather than be another cheerleader for independence.

And he has pledged to focus on local issues.

He said: “I want to see funding put in to deal with the capacity crisis in Dunfermline’s schools, including Woodmill High School.

“I also want to see the council deal with the poor state of roads and pavements
in much of the area.”


Michael Collie (Green)

Michael Collie lives and works in Dunfermline. He has a background in journalism
and now acts as a consultant to voluntary sector organisations.

He said: “I joined the Greens because I could see that they were the only party demanding environmental as well as social justice.

“Green councillors have already proved their worth in other parts of Scotland. It’s time we brought some Green thinking to the political table here in Fife.

“Our MSPs have already secured extra funding for Fife. If elected I and my colleagues will work to ensure that money is spent in the interests of all the people of Fife.”


Brian Goodall (SNP)

Brian Goodall has represented Dunfermline South for the past 10 years.

He said: “I pioneered Fife Council’s return to council house building as chair of the council’s housing and communities committee and helped deliver the new Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries, due to open in May.

“I am a strong voice for the area, ensuring local residents’ priorities, like resurfacing roads at Wedderburn and reestablishing the Gypsy Lane pathway, are listened to and acted on.

“I also joined local parents in the campaign to save Pitcorthie Primary School.”


Ross Paterson (Labour)

Ross Paterson lives locally with his wife and younger son and has strong family
connections with the ward having lived in the area for years.

He said: “I have a long history of working at grassroots level with my local residents’ association and supporting Dunfermline Children’s Gala when my son was a pupil at Canmore Primary.

“Most of my working life has been spent working in communities and with voluntary groups and I have a good understanding of how the council works.”


Billy Pollock (Labour)

Billy Pollock was elected as councillor for Dunfermline South in October 2013.

He said: “I am an ex-soldier who has dedicated my life to public service. I have a track record of bringing change and investment to the Dunfermline South ward.”

Mr Pollock lives locally with Nina and their two young daughters.

Prior to being elected, he served on the Children’s Panel, as a community councillor for Halbeath and Duloch, and chaired the Kings Road Primary parent


David Ross (Conservative)

David Ross was born in Carlisle and moved to Fife as a young child.

He was educated at the Royal Blind School in Edinburgh following which he completed an HND in business administration with languages.

Mr Ross has experience of working in the retail and voluntary sectors. He has worked for Sainsbury’s, Standard Life and most recently Fife Society for the Blind.

He has a wide range of hobbies and interests which include tandem cycling, rowing, listening to audio books, singing and making regular trips to watch his beloved Carlisle United.

Fay Sinclair (SNP)

Fay Sinclair was elected to represent Dunfermline South at a by-election in

She lives in the ward, raising three young sons in the area.

“I am committed to improving local services, leading calls for investment in Dunfermline schools which has resulted in the inclusion of £50 million in Fife Council’s capital plan towards new build solutions for Woodmill and St Columba’s high schools,” she said.

“As SNP education spokesperson, I forced a U-turn on cuts to primary school meals and am fighting against the loss of 100 teacher posts across Fife.”