2022 Council Election: Candidate Q&A

  1. Introduction [jump to section]
  2. Candidates Standing [jump to section]
  3. Question From DCC [jump to section]
  4. Answers From Candidates [jump to section]
  5. Election Guidance [jump to section]

1. Introduction

The Scottish Local Government election takes place on 5 May 2022, between 7am and 10pm. 85 councillors will be elected to 23 wards in the Glasgow City Council (GCC) area. The Dennistoun and Calton wards both have areas within the Dennistoun Community Council (DCC) boundary. The names and descriptions of the candidates for these wards are indicated in the below lists.

DCC sent a message to each local candidate, asking about the biggest community engagement issue it has encountered in recent years: the future of Whitehill Pool.

2. Candidates Standing

Dennistoun Ward

Three (3) Councillors to be elected from seven (7) candidates.

Anthony CARROLL – ‘Elect a Scottish Green Councillor’
Allan CASEY – Scottish National Party (SNP)’
Fiona McNider CONNELLY – ‘Scottish Conservative and Unionist’
Oisín DUNCAN – ‘Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition’
Lorna FINN ‘Scottish National Party (SNP)’
Fergus MCCANN ‘Scottish Liberal Democrats’
Elaine MCDOUGALL – ‘Glasgow Labour’

Calton Ward

Four (4) Councillors to be elected from nine (9) candidates.

Robert CONNELLY – ‘Scottish Conservative and Unionist’
Greg HEPBURN – ‘Scottish National Party (SNP)’
Catherine MCKERNAN ‘Alba Party for independence’
Cecilia O’LONE – ‘Glasgow Labour’
Alexander PALMER – ‘Scottish Liberal Democrats’
Linda PIKE – ‘Scottish National Party (SNP)’
George REDMOND – ‘Glasgow Labour’
Kate SAMUELS – ‘Elect a Scottish Green Councillor’
Olu SHOKUNBI – ‘Scottish National Party (SNP)’

3. Question From DCC

DCC aims to ascertain, coordinate and express the views of our community; and seeks to promote Dennistoun as a positive and inclusive neighbourhood.

In recent years, by far the biggest community engagement we have had is over the future of Whitehill Pool. Refer to our January 2019 Ordinary monthly meeting minutes and also minutes of the follow-up special public meeting for a record of this activity. Also available is a summary post and video recoding of the special public meeting.

So we are asking all candidates in the Dennistoun ward and Calton ward the following question (requesting a written answer of no more than 500 words):

How will you guarantee the future of Whitehill Pool?

Note that we’re asking this question of candidates in both the Calton and Dennistoun wards because Dennistoun Community Council does not fully share the same boundaries as Glasgow City Council ward areas. The DCC area is bounded by the M8 motorway to the north and the High Street to Carntyne railway to the south; being inclusive of the Glasgow Necropolis, Alexandra Park and Hogarth Park to the west and east.

DCC therefore represents the following community areas: Haghill, Milnbank, Reidvale, Broompark, Westercraigs, Ladywell, Wellpark, Drygate, ‘the Drives’, ‘Dennistoun Village’, ‘Hanson Park’, Duke Street, and Alexandra Parade. Full details, including a map, are available via dennistouncc.org.uk/locality. Further details about the operation of DCC, including a statement on party-political neutrality, can be found via dennistouncc.org.uk/about.

Save Whitehill Pool is on Facebook here and on Twitter here.

4. Answers From Candidates

The following answers were received in the specified timeframe: question sent 18 April, replies requested by end of 24 April, subsequently extended to 26 April. They are presented verbatim for your consideration.

Best efforts were made to contact each candidate using publicly available points of contact. If you are a candidate who has responded but your response is not included below, or if you are a candidate who has not yet submitted an answer and wish to do so, please contact DCC and we will endeavour to add your response here as soon in advance of polling day as is practicable.

Dennistoun Ward

  • Anthony CARROLL – ‘Elect a Scottish Green Councillor’

Whitehill Pool is vital to the community in Dennistoun. And because of its unique features, it’s really important for disabled people too, and for young people learning to swim from across Glasgow.

For the past five years, Green Councillor Kim Long has worked hard with the local community to campaign for the pool. Last year, Greens worked with the SNP to secure £1million for urgent repairs for Whitehill.

However, there is work still to be done to secure the Pool’s funding long-term, and as Green Councillor for the area, I’ll push for sustainable funding and for the pool to be fully open once again.

Greens will work to make Glasgow Life more democratically accountable & put some of its service back in house with the Council, so that the communities who use their local services actually have a proper say in how they are run.

It’s important that in this next Council term, funding is secured for a sustainable, accountable approach to our community & leisure centres. Whitehill Pool should be at the heart of this idea.

Greens will advocate for this in the Council Chambers and for Whitehill Pool to get the investment that the community deserves.

  • Allan CASEY – ‘Scottish National Party (SNP)’

Whitehill Pool means so much to the local people of Dennistoun and we have seen their passion over the last few years demonstrated in the local campaign to secure the pool’s future, a campaign which I have been heavily involved with alongside the Save Whitehill Pool group and the Local swimming clubs. Indeed Whitehill Pool is where I learned to swim when I attended classes as a pupil of Alexandra Parade Primary so personally the pool means a lot to me.

The future of the pool has been one of my key focuses during the last council term as one of Dennistoun’s Councillors. I established the Whitehill Pool investment-working group, which is made up of the Save Whitehill Pool Group, the community council, Glasgow Life and council officers. The group’s main focus has been exploring, in detail, all of the maintenance issues the pool faces caused by years of severe underfunding by the previous council Administration.

We know that the pool needs significant investment, and I was delighted that proposals that I brought forward were included in the SNP council budget of 2021-22, which secured £1million investment to ensure that the pool was prioritised for re-opening when the lockdown, caused by the COVID 19 pandemic, ended. I know that this investment is just a small part of what is required to sustain the long-term future of the pool and if I have the honour of being elected to represent Dennistoun again securing the further investment the pool needs will be one of my top priorities.

In terms of that further investment, I have already started the work on that by securing a commitment from Glasgow Life to conduct a full business case that will allow us to explore all options on how we can secure the overall funding pot that the building needs.

In the short term, I have also been working with Glasgow life to try to get the pool open full time hours. There has been a real issue across the city with the recruitment of pool lifeguards and we are exploring all options in securing the staff required to operate the venue full time.

I have a proven track record of supporting and delivering for Whitehill Pool and if I am re-elected on the 5th May I will continue to work hard alongside our local community to secure a bright future for Whitehill Pool.

  • Fiona McNider CONNELLY – ‘Scottish Conservative and Unionist’

As candidate for the Scottish Conservative and Unionist party our policy is to open and keep open all Glasgow Life facilities. Whitehill Pool is one of them that is near and dear to my heart as my husband used it as a young child growing up in Haghill.

We are also proposing a free swimming programme for children during summer holidays. Expand opening hours of facilities to ensure they respond to community need and reflect flexable working patterns required by workers. We propose to undertake an Independent Review of Glasgow Life to see if it is fit for purpose; including whether its functions should be brought back into the council.

We need to protect Whitehill Pool for Special Needs swimming lessons. As a mother of a Special Needs son, I know personally how useful this pool is for our community. It’s unlike any other in the East End and we must keep it open – no matter the funding needed.

There are not many swimming pools in the East End and we need to keep all of them open. The communities of Dennistoun need Whitehill Pool to remain open and be funded for local children, adult lessons and leisure swimming. If I am elected to represent Dennistoun Ward I will fight to keep Whitehill Pool open.

  • Oisín DUNCAN – ‘Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition’

For working-class people in Dennistoun, local venues like Whitehill Pool (and Wellpark Community Centre) offer invaluable spaces to meet, get active and feel a part of their community. If elected as a councillor for Dennistoun ward, I promise never to vote for closure of any council venues, including Whitehill Pool. TUSC opposed any cuts or closures to Glasgow Life leisure facilities and our local activists have been at Save Whitehill Pool campaign meetings.

As someone who uses sports facilities at Whitehill Secondary School regularly, I know that many working-class communities rely on council venues. Therefore, Glasgow Life’s shameful attempts to keep half its venues closed after the first wave of the pandemic must show the council a change of course is needed. It is no coincidence that most of these venues were in deprived areas where funding for public services is most needed.

Scottish TUSC calls for all Glasgow Life venues to be taken back into council ownership, so that we (and not salaried corporate directors) can democratically decide how to use this facilities and how they should be funded. We are committed to no-cuts/needs budgets, as we believe councillors and political representatives at every level should refuse to pass austerity onto workers and families.

  • Lorna FINN – ‘Scottish National Party (SNP)’

Like so many Dennistoun residents Whitehill Pool holds a significant place in my heart. I learned to swim in the pool as a member of Whitehill Swimming Club right up to my teenage years. I could be found in it every Thursday night. I taught my own daughter to swim here, and we use the pool regularly. I have seen first hand the work that the local community and Cllr Casey have done to ensure that this vital community asset not only remains but is invested in. If I am lucky enough to be elected on the 5th of May I promise that I will work tirelessly, in partnership with the community to ensure that the Whitehill Pool thrives and will be the pool that many more children learn to swim in and grow to love.

  • Fergus MCCANN – ‘Scottish Liberal Democrats’

No response received.

  • Elaine MCDOUGALL – ‘Glasgow Labour’

In terms of the issues facing the Dennistoun Ward, this is a very pertinent question as the need to preserve the pool and other local amenities must be a priority for local elected members, particularly at this time as we deal with the consequences of the pandemic and the current cost of living crisis. Now more than ever we must retain and expand affordable, well-resourced amenities within the Dennistoun community.

As you will be aware, I have been a Councillor for the Dennistoun Ward for many years and have always fought for local services. In this respect I have an established track record of working with the local community, Council Administrations and Senior Officers to ensure that much needed local services are protected and sustained. This includes the amenities at Whitehill including the pool and the other facilities located there.

In relation to the current situation at Whitehill Pool, I agree with your comment about the future of this facility being the biggest community engagement DCC has had in recent years. It has been an issue Constituents have frequently raised with me also. That is why I’ve worked with constituents, the Whitehill Campaign Group, and local organisations to address any threat to the closure of the pool. Indeed, I was instrumental in asking for the technical Feasibility Study in 2019 through resources available to Milnbank Housing Association to look at the viability of the pool as it appeared Glasgow Life was, at that time, suggesting it was unsustainable. This study showed that work required to the pool could be carried out on a phased basis and resulted in Glasgow Life committing £900k towards essential repairs. This was secured before the pandemic lockdown and I’m currently working to ensure this commitment remains on the table.

From my perspective, the best way to guarantee the future of Whitehill Pool would be the election of a Labour Administration. If that was to happen, I would seek to ensure the viable plan that already exists is used as the template for securing the pool as a much-needed local amenity. However, irrespective of the outcome of the forthcoming election, I will continue to work, if elected, with members on a cross-party basis to secure the future of the Whitehill Pool given its importance to local people.

I trust this adequately sets out my position, and I would be pleased to discuss this and any other relevant issues with DCC in the run up to the Council Election.

Calton Ward

  • Robert CONNELLY – ‘Scottish Conservative and Unionist’

As a councillor for the Calton Ward I have continued to fight for our local facilities that people use in the area. This includes Whitehill Pool which is badly needed in the Dennistoun area. Residents in Reidvale have continue to raise the important point of funding for their community facilities as I am sure those in Dennistoun Ward have raised with their local councillor as well.

Since the Save Whitehill Pool began a number of years ago I have supported the campaign. We must do all we can to protect our local facilities. There is a lack of swimming pools in the East-End of Glasgow, especially a facility offers a wide range of lessons and for causal swimming.

The Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party in Glasgow policy is to open all Glasgow Life venues and keep facilities open. We are also proposing a free swimming programme for children during summer holidays. Expand opening hours of facilites to ensure they respond to community need and reflect flexible working patterns required by workers. We propose to undertake an Independent Review of Glasgow Life to see if it is fit for purpose; including whether its functions should be brought back into the council.

Scottish Conservative councillors will continue to fight for a Fair Funding Settlement for Glasgow City Council. Council budgets cannot continue to be cut by Holyrood Governments which has happened year on year for the past decade.

We must protect local government funding so we can have fair funding for our local facilities, like Whitehill Pool.

If I get re-elected I will fight to keep Whitehill Pool open.

  • Greg HEPBURN / Linda PIKE / Olu SHOKUNBI (joint response) – ‘Scottish National Party (SNP)’

Calton SNP Candidates Greg Hepburn, Linda Pike and Olu Shokunbi are happy to pledge their continued support in a sustainable future for Whitehill pool.

In particular, Cllr Hepburn along with Cllr Layden, current Calton councillors were delighted to support the ongoing efforts of Cllr Allan Casey who has been a stalwart in his dedication to the continued future of Whitehill Pool in Dennistoun Ward, particularly in securing additional funding in the SNP budget this year.

  • Catherine MCKERNAN – ‘Alba Party for independence’

I want to start by saying a heartfelt thanks to Whitehill Pool Community Grass-roots campaign which has fought long, hard passionately and in fact, successfully, against the closure of the only community swimming pool in the that serves the communities of Dennistoun & Reidvale/Calton.

This campaign has been reminiscent of the successful campaigns of the Reidvale residents against the demolition of their tenements by the council and forcing them to renovate instead. It is possible therefore to make the council reconsider bad decisions and the closure of Whitehill Pool at the heart of our communities would have been one of those very bad decisions.

In talking with people in the campaign and those living next to the pool very “solvable” issues have become very apparent to me.

Although funding was promised, the community and campaign has NOT, it seems: 1. been informed as to what the funding is being used for; 2. been given sufficient input into what is being done with the money exactly 3. been given the action plan with timeline 4. been given the job of monitoring progress or informed as to how progress would be followed and reported on. This all needs to change and I will engage with the council and all stakeholders to ensure it does, starting from week one.

Local residents talk of the incomprehensible way the centre is being run:

As we all know, the pool provides heat and energy for the school next door (expanded with Golfhill) Opening and shutting the pool costs more energy and money than it staying open hence they say the timetable for use makes little sense to them. It appears to be open so little that it is becoming a strong disincentive for use: that must change. Opening hours must now expand rapidly.

Residents report a sense of low morale and a lack of staff. All of these issues are can be solved quickly with good community, stakeholder and management engagement.

Disabled people in the area say they don’t want to travel to Tollcross as it’s too hard for them. Our kids need to learn to swim. It simply must be restored and stay open.

In my response to you I want to be clear, specific & concise. All I will propose here is of course dependent upon my election to represent Calton Ward 9 and hence upon being democratically chosen as one of the Council representatives:

I will work together with all stakeholders to solve these problems and start by:

1. Listening and actually hearing your concerns; 2. Thinking clearly & planning carefully using examples of best practice effectively; 4. actually doing what we agree we are going to do, within the time frame we say we are going to do it; and 5. finally to check it’s been done and done properly.

The above is the overarching mechanism. The specifics must address the above issues.

Listening and hearing all stakeholders has got to be the starting point. I would begin by meeting with each stakeholder group individually to hear what the issues are and their envisaged potential solutions. With a clearer picture of the issues and envisaged &/or proposed action plans, I would call and chair a meeting of all stakeholders to both support & facilitate agreement to a joint action plan, with agreed milestones & timeline with follow up monitoring of success.

This should achieve thestakeholders and effect, in good time, the solutions required. Clarity & honesty & transparency is essential to the complete saving of Whitehill Pool and one of the hearts of this community.

  • Cecilia O’LONE – ‘Glasgow Labour’

No response received.

  • Alexander PALMER – ‘Scottish Liberal Democrats’

No response received.

  • George REDMOND – ‘Glasgow Labour’

No response received.

  • Kate SAMUELS – ‘Elect a Scottish Green Councillor’

No response received.

5. Election Guidance

  • These local elections allow you to rank candidates in order of preference: 1, 2, 3, etc. This is known as a Single Transferable Vote (STV) system.
  • You can rank as many or as few candidates as you like. In any order, but don’t miss or repeat any numbers, or use an X. Note that some parties have multiple candidates, because each ward elects multiple councillors.
  • You don’t have to put a number against every candidate. But you cannot ‘harm’ your first preference candidate by marking second, third, fourth, etc, preferences. No votes are ‘wasted’. All votes count towards choosing a representative. There is no need for tactical voting and there are no ‘safe’ seats.
  • Candidates must achieve a minimum percentage of votes to be elected as councillors. If this does not happen based on people’s first choice votes the candidate with the lowest number of votes drops out. Their votes are redistributed according to the second choices of people who voted for them. If a candidate achieves the required percentage of the vote they are then elected. Any ‘surplus’ votes they receive above this are redistributed among the other candidates based on voters’ second choices. This process is repeated until all councillors are elected.
  • Your later preferences might therefore help to determine who is elected, by ‘transferring’ to other candidates. This will only ever happen if the candidate your vote is currently with is eliminated from the count for having the fewest votes or if the candidate your vote is with is elected with more votes than they need.
  • Further explanation of this voting system can be found at ballotbox.scot/councils/stv-explained and bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides.
  • If you make a mistake on your ballot paper, you can ask for a new one.
  • You can apply for someone to vote for you if you have an emergency that stops you from going to the polling place. This is called an ’emergency proxy’ and you can apply for this up until 5pm on Thursday 5 May.

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Dennistoun CC

Dennistoun CC's aim is to ascertain, coordinate and express the views of the wider community. It seeks to promote the Dennistoun area as a positive and inclusive neighbourhood.

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