Letters: Council elections not an independence issue

A reader has her say on the latest independence development and the Council elections

Friday, 17th March 2017, 1:12 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:11 am
A second referendum was announced this week, but our reader does not think it is related to the Council Elections. Picture; Getty


After Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement that the Scottish Government will pursue a second referendum on Scottish independence, my first thought was ‘here we go again’.

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However, I realised the cycle wasn’t starting again – it has just never really stopped since 2014. That’s what referendums do in modern Britain, they leave 45% or 48% of the population with a sour taste in their mouth and shift the political landscape on its side, so everything is decided based on the merits that the party’s constitutional stance will bring.

However, we have an important council election coming up. Already certain parties are presenting it as a way to send the ‘other party’ a message on being for or against independence, a tactic presented particularly unsubtly by Theresa May at the Scottish Conservative conference this month.

This is totally irresponsible as it is not the function of local government such as Edinburgh council. The council has a duty to ensure the city runs smoothly, traffic lights are logically placed, bins get collected on time, schools don’t fall down, ensure there’s enough housing for all, keep parks maintained, among dozens of other duties and most importantly, engage local community at every step.

There are up to 100 candidates standing in Edinburgh’s 17 council wards, some of them good, some who couldn’t give a hoot about their area and see a council position as a stepping stone to a parliamentary job. The latter type of candidate certainly hasn’t disappeared post-referendum.

It’s worth taking five minutes of your day to check who’s actually standing in your ward, Googling them and seeing what sets them out as the individual to represent you and ensuring you trust them to respond to any queries you may have in the future.

With the STV voting system, you’re not obliged to vote for only one candidate, so please notice the ones who use their passion to talk about the area, not politics.

Jack Caldwell, Edinburgh