Council candidates

THE Conservatives in East Renfrewshire have made their intentions for this council election clear — by announcing 10 candidates will stand.

In comparison, SNP and Labour have only put eight candidates forward.

Group leader Jim Swift said his party “are putting 10 candidates forward because we believe we can get 10 in”.

At the last council election, the Tories polled more first preference votes than any other party, leaving them with seven elected councillors — tied with Labour.

However a coalition with SNP ensured Labour were able to form the administration.

The Conservative party has targeted Newton Mearns south, nominating three candidates where Labour, SNP and Lib Dems have only selected one each.

There, Alistair Haw will be standing alongside existing councillors Barbara Grant and Jim Swift for the three seat ward.

Mr Swift — currently a councillor in Newton Mearns south believes “we are at a watershed in our community and residents recognise this.

“Labour/SNP proposals make no sense and the feedback from the doorstep is we will get 10”.

Vincent Waters — an SNP candidate for Giffnock and Thornliebank — believes his party’s decision to put forward eight candidates “reflects East Renfrewshire’s diverse voting habits”.

He told The Extra: “In that context, it is disrespectful to voters to suggest otherwise. The electorate is mature and wise enough to realise ER is split between three parties.

“In putting up eight candidates, this gives us the potential to get them all elected.

“It is more ambitious than 2007”.

Council leader Jim Fletcher told The Extra: “We’ve got a very strong, new team of candidates with both wisdom and fresh ideas to take care of our area.

“I’m confident we can win the trust and support of the local people of Eastwood, and wider East Renfrewshire”.

The Liberal Democrats have put five candidates forward — including Provost Alex Mackie who will be standing for re-election — while seven independents will stand, including Eddie Phillips.

The Barrhead councillor was deselected by the Labour Party earlier this year.

The other parties set to be represented in the election are UKIP and the Green party, who each put forward one candidate.

On Thursday, May 3, residents will choose from 40 candidates to elect 20 councillors to serve on the council.