Party's first meeting

THE inaugural meeting of East Dunbartonshire's new political party was held earlier this week at Tom Johnston House.

The Strathkelvin People's Independent Labour Party was recently launched by former Labour councillors Charles Kennedy and Jack Young, after months of negotiations with the Electoral Commission in London.

Over 20 people attended the historic first meeting of the party on Monday.

Councillor Charles Kennedy said: "It was a very constructive meeting and the objectives of this new party are very clear.

"We want to be the independent voice of East Dunbartonshire and we will be visiting the different areas to see what the people want.

"It is our aim to produce policies that will benefit and address the lack of facilities in this area - but this can only be done through consultation with the people.

"There is a lot of discontent in the area but we want to break away from the old party political stuff and move on.

"I can guarantee that we will always be fair, truthful and that we will listen to the people."

Office bearers for the new party have been confirmed as: Chairman - John Telfer, Vice-Chairman - Pat Ryan, Secretary - Colin Miller, Treasurer - Jim Gilmour.

Councillor Kennedy also revealed that the name of the party may change in the future.

He said: "We are open to ideas as the name is a bit long, but it will have to be a name that captures what the party is about and shows that we want to embrace the independent people of the area."