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The Liberal Democrats have named their candidate for the upcoming Leith Walk by-election as Jack Caldwell.

Jack is no stranger to politics as he stood as an Independent candidate in the Scottish Parliamentary Election in 2016.

He holds himself up as an experienced local community activist with a strong record. We can vouch for that – or at least his appearance at many protests over the years, including that by Save Leith Walk just last week. Jack is a community councillor and volunteer local youth group leader and he is passionate about using positive politics to reduce inequalities.

The by-election is the result of Cllr Marion Donaldson’s resignation from the council late last month. The by-election will be held on 11 April 2019.

The candidates last time were : (those picked out in grey were elected)

DONALDSON, Marion (Scottish Labour Party)

GARDNER, Nick (Scottish Labour Party)

JACOBSEN, David Don (Socialist Labour Party)

MARGA, Cristina (Scottish Conservative and Unionist)

MCNEESE-MECHAN, Amy Scottish National Party (SNP)

MELVILLE, Alan Gordon (Independent)

RAE, Susan (Scottish Green Party)

RITCHIE, Lewis Scottish National Party (SNP)

TOBERMANN, Harald (Independent)

ZAPOROZCENKO, Vita (Scottish Liberal Democrats)

From the age of four, Jack Caldwell has lived in a council flat in the heart of the Leith Walk Ward since 1997, attending the local schools, Boy’s Brigade and Scout troop. Jack’s workplace is just off Leith Walk, where he is an IT technician for a local independent arts charity.

Jack is an active volunteer in the area, running a local Cub Scout troop, as well as being an active member of Leith Central Community Council, which has seen him standing up to profit-driven developers. In this role he is working constructively with people and organisations across Broughton, Bonnington, Abbeyhill, Pilrig, Easter Road and Leith.

Jack said : “It’s a privilege to be given the opportunity to stand up for Leith Walk. Being actively involved in the local community, it is distressing to see the negative impact that eight years of roadworks are having on our area. In addition, the council has completely mismanaged refuse and recycling. We residents are being very patient, but our living standards are suffering from the dust, noise, strewn litter, and traffic jams are increasing across the ward.

“It’s time we stopped utility companies running wild with public pavements, roads and cycle lanes. We deserve to be able to go to work or the shops without finding out our bus stop has moved to a totally different place again!

“It is shameful that in 2019, North East Edinburgh still has unacceptable areas of financial inequality, with Leith Walk having a 21% material poverty rate alone. We can’t afford to have vital services further cut by our council.

“If elected, my top priority will be to work hard to ensure community resources and charities receive enough funding to continue serving local residents. I will also explore as many options as possible to reduce inequality and attract high quality, sustainable, accessible and integrated social-rent housing to the area.”