ELECTION: SCOTTISH LIBERAL DEMOCRATS NAME THEIR CANDIDATE FOR DUMBARTON CONSTITUENCY

Andy Foxall, the Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate in Dumbarton for the Scottish Parliament. Above Dumbarton from the air by Sean Davenport.

By Bill Heaney

The Scottish Liberal Democrat have chosen Andy Foxall to represent the party in the Scottish Parliament election on May 6.

Foxall, 25, has been a member of the Scottish Liberal Democrats since 2015.

He originally comes from Stoke-on-Trent, attended the University of St Andrews and has lived in Scotland ever since.

He now works in audit and is training to become a chartered accountant.

“Andy has been interested in politics from a young age and believes we need more young people involved in politics,” a LibDem spokesperson said.

Andy himself said: “Too often young people have decisions made about them but don’t see anyone their age representing them. There is a whole generation of politically engaged young people for whom I want to be a voice.”

He added: “At this election Scottish Liberal Democrats will Put Recovery First. People want a needle-sharp focus on jobs, mental health, our NHS, schools and the climate crisis. Yet a divided SNP want to focus on another independence referendum.

“When we all need to come together to recover from the worst health and economic crisis of 100 years, we can’t afford to return to the arguments of the past that divided families, neighbours and friends.

“Here in Dumbarton we have seen local services cut to the bone by the SNP government in Edinburgh, aided by the SNP council administration. I want to see a fair deal for local government with the powers they need to really make a difference.

“The pandemic has been hard on everyone. Tens of thousands of operations have been cancelled and waits for mental health services have never been longer.

“I believe that the next government needs to deliver a national NHS recovery plan to ensure that our health service is in a fit state to bounce back.

“Liberal Democrat candidates across the West of Scotland will be strong voices for our communities. For a progressive and ambitious alternative please vote to Put Recovery First with the Liberal Democrats.”

Meanwhile, Willie Rennie has set out his party’s plans to boost the teaching profession and put recovery first for education.

The Scottish Liberal Democrats want:  

  • More in-class support to help every child reach their potential
  • A guaranteed job for every teacher for smaller class sizes
  • An end to the casualisation of the teaching profession that means 1 in 10 teachers are on short-term or casual contracts, risking people leaving
  • Serving teachers put at the heart of SQA and Education Scotland which the party also wants to substantially reform
  • A review of workloads and conditions for teachers (McCrone 2), and a minimum starting salary of £30,000 to help attract the best graduates into teaching
  • A new “teacher premium” for schools in disadvantaged areas consisting of pay supplements designed to attract and reward the best teachers for the schools in greatest need
  • New, optional, three-year packages for probationer teachers – consisting of the current one-year probationary period plus two further guaranteed years – to help local authorities get graduates to take up posts in certain geographical areas

Willie Rennie added:“Teachers must be at the heart of our education recovery. Our plan for teachers will be good for education.

“Scottish Liberal Democrats have already secured an extra £80 million for education in the budget but we want to go much further.

“Our Education Bounce Back plan offers unprecedented new entitlements and resources for pupils. Staff are critical to all of the good things we want to do. They have worked flat out to give everyone the best education possible over the last year. But they deserve better from the government.

“To help children and young people bounce back from the disruption to their education we need to invest in the teaching profession.  

“Our country is stronger when every individual is able to achieve their potential, but the independent report this week showed a yawning attainment gap and progress falling short.

“My Scottish Liberal Democrats have an ambitious and comprehensive plan to help children and young people bounce back. It puts the recovery first.”

Vale of Leven from the air by Craig Jump of Turkey Red Media.

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