Short article by Dundee SSP candidate in the Maryfield by election, Angela Gorrie also on the SSP site
Dundee SSP announced our candidate in the Maryfield by election Angela Gorrie.
The by-election in the Maryfield ward of Dundee City Council, scheduled for Thursday March 12th, will be the first local authority contest since the SNP’s u-turn on Council Tax. In an area where Council Tax rates are among the highest in Scotland, this will not go unnoticed.
Although a win in the poll, triggered by the resignation of Labour’s Joe Morrow, will not be enough to give the SNP a majority, it will leave them just one seat away. The 29 member council is currently finely balanced with 13 SNP members, 10 Labour; 3 Conservatives; 2 Liberals and an Independent.
The ward, one of the largest within Dundee, ranges from the docks of the Tay, through the City Centre to the north edge of the City.
Unusually, it also straddles the boundaries of the Dundee East/West Scottish and Westminster parliamentary seats. Unfortunately for activists however, much of the area lies on a steep slope!
The SSP have consistently held stalls in this area over the past few years, something which many passers by certainly seem to appreciate.
Along with weekly City Centre stalls we try to hold earlier activities in the outlying areas of the city. Stobswell Junction, which sits at the top end of the ward, has always been a popular location.
While the early days of the campaign have so far focused on the SSP’s commitment to replace the hated Council Tax with our Scottish Service Tax, based on income and ability to pay, our other policies have also been well received.
The area has a large student population, so our message of
abolish all fees and loans; bring back grants has been well received. Due to the location there are also a high number of council workers in the area. Dundee SSP members were highly active around the last Local Authority workers’ strikes last year, spending many mornings, before and after, leafleting workplaces and showing solidarity with workers.
This has not been forgotten, and we have received many positive comments on the streets about our support.
While the ward boasts enviable public transport links – Dundee Bus Station is within the area, and the Railway Station is just to the West – the costs continue to rise. When I first moved to Dundee four years ago, the standard fare was £1.10. This has now spiralled to £1.45. The cheapest fare increased to 80p earlier this year.
At a time when many local facilities are closing, this has put additional financial pressure on many who live in the area. The SSP’s Free Public Transport policy is recognised as a way to combat this, while going some way to save the environment at the same time.
Dundee, as a city twinned with Nablus, has always taken the fight of the Palestinian people to its heart. This was clear at the recent demonstration, one of the largest the City has witnessed in recent years. Dundee SSP is proud to be a part of this movement.