In recent years, the area has been changing rapidly as hundreds of new houses have either been built or will be built in the next few years – and there are concerns about whether the infrastructure, especially health services, can cope. Other recurring issues include a lack of public transport and poor maintenance of play parks.
Fears have also been raised about the future of Bo’ness Recreation Centre and other council-owned facilities which are currently part of a major review. And like other areas, changes to grass cutting have sparked debate while bin collections and road repairs are always top of many people’s priorities.
But you’ll also find in Bo’ness and Blackness some stunning scenery and incredible heritage that’s leading to growing tourism. Combined with a strong community spirit, there are plenty of people who want to make sure the area doesn’t get overlooked in future.
In 2017 at the last council election, the SNP’s Ann Ritchie polled the most votes, and she was joined by Lynn Munro (Con) and David Aitchison (Lab) in representing the ward.
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All three of the current councillors are fighting to regain a seat in May’s elections, with David Aitchison returning as the Labour candidate and Lynn Munro once again representing the Conservatives.
However, the former SNP councillor Ann Ritchie is now standing as an Independent candidate, saying she wants to see politics taken out of the council altogether. At the meeting to set the council’s budget, she voted against her party in protest and its decision to close the public toilets in Bo’ness.
This time, standing for the SNP is Stacey Devine, who grew up in the town and is a former NUS Scotland women’s officer and campaigner on issues such as education, mental health and women’s rights.
Falkirk Greens, who have a candidate in every ward, have put forward Debra Pickering while the Scottish Liberal Democrats have selected Nicholas William Pitts to fight the election.
Who is standing in 2022?
There are six candidates hoping to be elected on May 5.
David Aitchison, Scottish Labour Party;
Stacey Devine, SNP;
Lynn Munro, Scottish Conservative and Unionist;
Debra Pickering, Scottish Green Party;
Nicholas William Pitts, Scottish Liberal Democrats;
Ann Ritchie, Independent