School campaigner to stand for SNP

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SCHOOL campaigner Ewan Smith will stand for the Scottish National Party (SNP) in the Arbroath West and Letham ward at the local elections on May 3.

Smith (34) was a leading member of the Muirfield Action Group that opposed the closure of Muirfield and Timmergreens Primary Schools in favour of a controversial new ‘superschool’ at Hospitalfield, Arbroath.

He will join one of the party’s longest serving councillors Alex King as they both attempt to gain seats in the four-member Arbroath West and Letham ward.

King, who was first elected in 1984, was finance convener for 23 years until 2007.

The SNP have also kept the same team as 2007 for the Arbroath East and Lunan ward – with Sheena Welsh and Donald Morrison both standing for re-election.

Mrs Welsh has 32 years of service of a councillor, while Mr Morrison was elected at the last campaign.

Speaking of his first-time candidacy, Smith said: “I’ve thought long and hard about standing for election and want to do it for the right reasons – to try and give the people of Arbroath West and Letham another voice in Angus Council.

“Along with others, I have been very vocal in opposing the attempts by Angus Alliance to close my children’s school Muirfield Primary. Thankfully, the Scottish Government has taken the very informed decision to reject this proposal.

“Some people go into local government because they have a deep love of politics while others are driven by a need for change and the passion for a local issue.

“There could be no bigger issue to me personally than the threat of closure to my children’s school.

“Now I want, along with the rest of the SNP, to have the opportunity to move Angus forward.

“I’m not going to change the world overnight but, as a candidate, people will get someone who is hard-working, highly responsive, positive and willing to make informed decisions.

“The most important people in our community are the electorate.

“There are a lot of insightful and enthusiastic people living in our area and they should feel that they can be actively involved in helping Arbroath West and Letham progress as a community.

“They only get that opportunity if the councillors are willing to listen and serve the public.

“Alex King, Donald Morrison and Sheena Welsh and the rest of the SNP did just that for the parents and many residents who opposed the new school and the closures of Muirfield and Timmergreens. They responded to our concerns, did their homework and put forward very considered arguments against the closures.

“Now, if we can form an administration after May, all primary schools in Arbroath and the surrounding areas will be looked at again as part of the £8 million that is allocated towards the Arbroath Schools Project.”