Local Liberal Democrats are going into the council elections in South Lanarkshire with high hopes of making gains when the votes are counted – and local council candidates have been backed by regular campaign visits by leading Scottish Liberal Democrat Parliamentarians to Rutherglen, Cambuslang and other parts of South Lanarkshire in recent weeks.
Councillor Robert Brown, South Lanarkshire Liberal Democrat Group leader, said that the Party was standing the biggest number of candidates in Scotland since 2007 including 16 in South Lanarkshire.
Robert Brown said:
"We are going to do well in these elections. Since the last council elections in 2017, we have gained two councillors from other Parties - Councillor Mark McGeever from the Conservatives and Councillor Fiona Dryburgh from Labour. We also had tremendous results in 2 by elections - in Rutherglen Central and North in November 2017 and in East Kilbride Central North in August 2019 - which saw a real surge in the Liberal Democrat vote in both cases.
Last weekend our Deputy Leader Wendy Chamberlain MP was in Cambuslang West to support local Liberal Democrat candidate Dr. Norman Rae. This Saturday we had Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, in Rutherglen in support of our Rutherglen Central and North candidate, Gloria Adebo. Alex was making his 3rd visit to South Lanarkshire this year. He was in Hamilton West & Earnock in support of Cllr Mark McGeever at the end of January). Former leader, Willie Rennie MSP was in Cambuslang last month and is coming again shortly too.
We are seeing the best level of support we have had for some time. I am impressed by the number of former Conservative voters coming over to the Liberal Democrats – perhaps not surprising after Downing Street’s Partygate scandal – but there are also a fair number of former SNP supporters too who seem to have changed their minds on independence.
The Liberal Democrat appeal is that our focus is firmly on the local community and local issues.
The SNP have been in power in Edinburgh for 15 years, starving councils of funds and cutting back on local services. It is time for change - Liberal Democrats offer new hope for Scotland and councillors who fight for their local communities rather than obsess about independence or act as cheer leaders for Boris.
After two years of pandemic and with people facing the biggest hit to household budgets in a generation, communities need councillors focused on the real problems faced by local people.”