Malcolm Spaven (Midlothian South)

 

Malcolm Spaven

Green Party candidate for Midlothian South

May 2017

Candidate statement

 

I’ve lived in Midlothian for eleven years.  I work for the renewable energy industry as a consultant, working from home at Gladhouse.  I’ve been a member of Moorfoot Community Council for three years, dealing with planning issues, development of hydro energy and community-based broadband.  I’m also active with the Midlothian Federation of Community Councils, developing their responses to the local and strategic development plans and to particular planning proposals.

I’m standing as a candidate for the Greens because I‘ve seen the enormous concern from a wide spectrum of people across Midlothian that the county is on an unsustainable path, with thousands of new private houses being built when the pressing need is to provide social rented housing for people who already live here.  The system is massively skewed in favour of the speculative property developers.  If we don’t turn this juggernaut of over-development around we will end up with Midlothian as a commuter belt with houses and town centres empty all day, roads more and more clogged with cars, and many more Midlothian people left behind with poor job and housing prospects and inadequate social, medical and school facilities.

This broken system is also swallowing up good quality farm land and open countryside that we should be protecting so that we can grow food for local markets, keep our air and water clean and have easy access to open spaces for a healthy lifestyle.

The Greens say that we should stop allocating more and more land for housing in Midlothian and that we should meet the needs of the people who already live in Midlothian first.  Much of this requires action at national level which is why the trebling of the number of Green MSPs at the last Holyrood election was a major step forward.  But we can also do a lot more at local council level to generate extra funds to pay for local services, to find sites for new council houses and to stop new housing developments being built without any meaningful facilities in them.

We need a new approach.  More of the same is just not good enough.  Our one Green councillor, Ian Baxter, has achieved a lot in five years.  But to really make a difference to the future of Midlothian we need several more Green councillors.

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