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Comment: Ignore the Constitution this May

Whilst constitutional matters may have become part of people’s everyday lives, it is of great importance that May’s local Council elections focus on the day job.

Brexit. Scottish Independence. We would all be very rich if we had a shiny new pound coin every time someone mentioned the constitution.

Wouldn’t it be nice to think about something else, say perhaps chronic congestion on local roads, falling school rolls, dying town centres, surging local taxes and leisure fees etc. etc? Wouldn’t it be nice to think that in five weeks time, the people of Penicuik and Midlothian will actually elect the best candidates, not just a mouthpiece of a political party?

Unfortunately with the ongoing constitutional onslaught, many, quite understandably, are too busy arguing about matters out with our control rather than the local everyday matters that actually effect us. Will they really stop collecting the bins if we leave Europe? No, because strangely enough, not everything is directly connected to the country’s constitutional situation.

So I put to you this; this May consider each candidate you are faced on their own merits. Ignore the logo beside their name and their constitutional preferences and instead interrogate their stance on local issues. If they have been in power previously, what have they achieved for us? Not Dalkeith, not Straiton but Penicuik. Where have they failed? If they are a new face, why are they different? Are they proposing answers to important local questions, like should the A701 bypass go ahead, should Penicuik retain to secondary schools?

If you find yourself faced with a myriad of constitutional rubbish instead of local propositions, perhaps that candidate would be better suited waiting to be selected for the Scottish Parliament, because whatever their views, it’s going to make absolutely no difference to their role in Midlothian Council; unless of course they’re insisting that Midlothian should be an independent republic. If that’s the case, they should probably be ignored for more worrying reasons.

I don’t know where we’re going to be constitutionally in five years, nobody does. What I do know, is that with the right kind hearted, locally minded councillors we can have a county council that actually delivers for its residents.

Please, people of Penicuik, Midlothian and beyond, on Thursday 4 May take a break from thinking about the country and vote for the people who will work tirelessly to really improve our lives.

In the run up to May’s council elections, the Cuckoo will be inviting local candidates to set out their personal manifestos. If you have any questions you would like them to answer, please get in touch either below or via email.