Janet Cowan was a nurse before she retired. She is heavily involved in local community groups and helps to fundraise for them. Janet serves as a representative of the Tenants Association and agrees with the council action on tackling rent arrears inherited from the previous administration. Janet fully supports the need for a local hospital to serve the needs of local Brechin residents. She is delighted to see improvements in Brechin that have taken place the town regeneration scheme and backs the Angus Alliance who have allocated considerable funds for the new Brechin High School Community Campus. Janet backed the campaign against the Scottish Government cuts to student support and college funding.
Ginny Graham came to Angus in 2005 from outside Glasgow after her late husband retired, to be closer to their elder son, who had moved to Kirriemuir. Ginny had been active in the Party in East Dunbartonshire, where Jo Swinson was elected MP. She has been a council candidate before. Ginny worked for central government for many years, during which time she studied part-time for a theology degree. Ginny was until recently s director of the Angus Credit Union, attends Community Council, is a volunteer adult literacy tutor, is a volunteer at the Food Parcel project, helps builds sets at the Abbey Theatre, is active in her church and sings with the Angus Choral Society.
Liz Petrie graduated in Fine Art at Dundee University in 1964. She would like to see more recycling done including separate recycling bins in the rural areas. Liz feels a lot more should be done about the problem of litter in the streets and dual carriageways. Liz said “We need to encourage our tourists and bring them to Scotland. It does not give a good impression if there is lots of litter around.” Another issue Liz feels strongly about is providing sufficient support for colleges and their students. She is pleased that Willie Rennie and the Scottish Liberal Democrats secured an increase in funds for colleges as part of the budget settlement. She said “This goes some way towards reversing the cuts in college funding made by the Scottish Government.”
Avril Simpson was born and brought up in Hillside, Montrose. She was educated at Montrose Academy and Edinburgh College of Domestic Science. She taught in the Borders and Edinburgh and was Principal Teacher of Home Economics for 20 years 1978 to 98 at Montrose Academy. Avril retired to Forfar where she is now a Community Councillor, volunteer at the Guide Dogs and the Citizens Advice Bureau, sings with Angus Choral, is a committee member of NTS Angus members centre and a fund raiser in Angus for MS Trust. Avril has been a member of the Lib Dems for about 20 years and has stood three times for Forfar in the Council elections.
Lorraine Barthorpe has lived in Angus all her life and loves the county. She has been married to Kevin for 21 years and has two children, Nicole & Adam. She is passionate about getting involved in issues that effect her and the people of Angus. Lorraine said “I have an interest in politics but more so on a national level. I think that the Scottish Liberal Democrats represent most of what I feel and although I do not agree with all they do, I do think this is the party that represents the way forward for politics.”
Kevin Barthorpe has been resident in Arbroath for the last 34 years. He has taken a keen interest in things that affect the people of Arbroath. This includes taking part in the campaign against the siting of the proposed new school on the Westway in Arbroath. Kevin was also instrumental in the setting up of a local residents group that takes the issues raised forward with the relevant parties; this can be environmental as well as personal issues. Through the group he has also been responsible for organising information events for residents. Kevin has been a member of the community council for the last 1 & a half years, taking forward things raised by local residents. As a tenant of the Council he is also involved in several groups that represent the views of other tenants.
Kevin said “I do not follow politics very strongly; that is why I want to be a councillor as I feel that representing the people is what is important not following the party line all the time, although I do believe people will expect me to have a lot of the Lib Dem thoughts when it comes to helping make decisions.”
Alison Andrews has represented Kirriemuir & Dean on Angus Council since 2007. Before that, she worked for the University of St Andrews. Alison is convener of the Social Work & Health Committee and represents the Council on the Community Health Partnership, Angus Children’s Panel Advisory Committee and the Open Estate Prison Visiting Committee. She is also a member of the committees for Education, Neighbourhood Services and Development Standards. “It’s a privilege to represent the people of West Angus,” says Alison, “and being a councillor has enabled me to meet a lot of dedicated people who work very hard serving the community. In particular it’s given me huge respect and admiration for the many volunteers who give so much time and effort to helping others. There are lots of wonderful people in Angus but they’re so modest that we don’t always notice how much they’re doing. I greatly appreciate them.”
Local Lib Dem Councillor Peter Bellarby has welcomed the completion of the new council housing at Stonehaven and Laurencekirk.
Councillor Bellarby said: “I am pleased to see tenants moving into their new homes. This goes a small way towards meeting the housing needs of the area and dealing with the large waiting list we have in Aberdeenshire.”
He spoke at the recent Scottish Liberal Democrat party conference in Inverness on Scotland’s housing crisis and the need for the Scottish Government to reverse the 30% cut it recently made to its housing budget.
Cllr Bellarby said: “Aberdeenshire is widely seen as prosperous, even affluent, but there are also many in desperate need of housing. More than 7000 people are on the housing list in Aberdeenshire. People sometimes approach me and expect that I can somehow wave some kind of magic wand and get them higher up the list. I can’t. We have a points system and we must stick to that.”
Cllr Bellarby said that the most pressing need was for social housing for rent. He said: “The Scottish Government must provide funds to help the Council and social landlords build more houses.”
David Fleming, who is standing with Peter Bellarby as a Lib Dem candidate in the council elections on May 3, added: “We need to get the waiting list down and address the very real problems that many people face in finding a suitable home.”