LABOUR in North Ayrshire this weekend announced their candidates for the 2017 local council elections as they look to keep a hold of power in Cunninghame House.

16 of their 17 candidates gathered in Irvine on Saturday and it was a mixture of old and new faces who will fight out for the 33 spots on the council.

Current leader, Joe Cullinane will again stand in Kilwinning with stalwart David O’Neill taking on Irvine South and NAC Provost Ian Clarkson battling to be re-elected in Irvine West.

The candidates are:
Irvine West: Ian Clarkson and Louise McPhater, Irvine East: John Easdale and Irene Oldfather, Irvine South: Robert Foster and David O’Neill, Kilwinning: Joe Cullinane and Donald Reid, Stevenston: Jimmy Miller and John Sweeney, Saltcoats: Jim Montgomerie and Valerie Reid, Ardrossan and Arran: Clare McGuire, Dalry and West Kilbride: Paul Reid, Kilbirnie and Beith: John Bell and James Robson, North Coast: Alex Gallagher.

Labour Group leader Joe Cullinane said: “With our team in place it is game on. It is a team of many talents and one ready to deliver for our local communities.

“Just a few months ago the SNP ran for the hills as soon as the going got tough and resigned from administration. Since then their pitiful attempt at opposition has amounted to them attacking Labour councillors for attending events in our communities rather than the glitzy award dinners that they had signed up to attend.

“In contrast, we have got straight to work – reinstating investment in local schools that the SNP had cut, increasing the council’s house building programme, securing Living Wage accreditation for the council and paying our lowest paid staff the new rate early and much more.” 

Valerie Reid is a full-time working mother of three and for the last five years has worked in Housing/Homelessness for a local authority. Prior to that Valerie was a Senior Caseworker for Katy Clark MP and Allan Wilson MSP for a total of 13 years.

Clare McGuire was born and raised in Ardrossan. She studied Computer Game Development and obtained her Modern Apprenticeship with North Ayrshire Council. Clare currently works for Deloitte.

Paul Reid attended Largs Academy and then went on to secure a degree in Social Sciences at Glasgow Caledonian University. Paul volunteered at the North Ayrshire Citizens Advice Bureau for a number of years and currently works at Morrison’s in Largs.

James Robson was raised in Kilbirnie and now lives in Beith with his wife and two children. James has been the Chair of Gateside Primary Parent Council and is also on the board of North Ayrshire Citizens Advice Service and is currently studying with the Open University.

John Sweeney has worked with the Ministry of Defence for more than 35 years. From 2005 to 2011 John was a member of the School Board of Auchenharvie Academy. Since 2012 John has been on the board of CLASP in Stevenston.

Jimmy Miller served as soldier from 1958 to 1974 then worked managing public houses and as a H.G.V Driver. Jimmy has been a member of the GMB union since 1975. He has been involved in the Three Towns Growers, the Scottish Seniors Alliance and is a committee member of the Scottish Older Peoples Alliance.