Ex-Labour duo launch new party

A NEW new political party was launched in East Dunbartonshire this week, by two former Labour councillors.

The Strathkelvin People's Independent Labour Party has been formed after months of discussions between Councillor Charles Kennedy, Councillor Jack Young and the Electoral Commission in London.

The historic announcement follows the recent removal of Councillor Kennedy from the Labour Party and the decision of Councillor Young to resign in support of his colleague.

The inaugural meeting of the party will be held in Tom Johnston House on Monday, December 6.

And this week Councillor Kennedy spoke of his high hopes for the party's future.

He said: "The name may be modified in the future, but what is important is that we are now registered as a political party.

"Councillor Young and I can now be a far more effective grouping within Tom Johnston House than we were previously, as two independent members.

"The main purpose of the party will be to listen to the people and, through listening, build up a body of policies which we will then put to the electorate in 2007.

"We are intent on visiting all areas of the Strathkelvin part of East Dunbartonshire, starting with Twechar on Monday, November 15.

"Once the festive season is over, we will then decide on a series of meetings throughout the villages, Bishopbriggs and Kirkintilloch.

He added: "The purpose of these meetings will not simply be to get ourselves known, but to genuinely engage the electorate in a dialogue over what they see as the future of East Dunbartonshire.

"We will also be looking at closures, council tax and we intend to work very closely with the Stobhill campaigners.

"There are many people out there who are disillusioned with the council and we want to listen to them."

Councillor Young also believes this is a fresh start for politics in the area.

He said: "We will put the people first and their views and wishes will form our independent policies.

"For far too long, the mainstream parties have only paid lip service to the concerns of the electorate.

"We intend to hit the ground running and be active in the long haul of bringing life back to this area."