Labour candidate for Berwickshire, Roxburgh & Selkirk at the general election, Kenryck Lloyd-Jones, says it is time for real change in Borders politics.
Mr Lloyd-Jones was declared as his party’s candidate last month and is hoping, after Labour candidates’ improving results at the last local authority elections, that there is now an upsurge in support for the party of the red rose.
A Labour Party member for 20 years and chair of its Berwickshire branch for the last five, Mr Lloyd-Jones was born in Wales and moved to the Borders over two decades ago. Married with two daughters, he works for a trade union for health professionals. But his party has not even had a Labour councillor in the Borders since 2003, and the retiral of the late Tweeddale member, Bryan Brockie, means that the area’s only current Labour representative is South of Scotland MSP Claudia Beamish.
Mr Lloyd-Jones says that he is well aware of Labour’s failings in the past to convince enough Borders voters to support at the ballot box, saying: “But we weren’t that far off getting councillors elected at the last council elections and that definitely gave us something to build on for the future.
“We are firmly on the side of public services, education and health and can make a real difference to people’s lives in this region,” he told The Southern this week.
“What we are seeing in the Borders is cuts to education, which is last thing you need if you are trying to fight for a better economic future.
“What we want to see is improving public services for the working people of the Borders.”
On the subject of long-sitting popular local Lib Dem MP Michael Moore, Mr Lloyd-Jones said he was sure Mr Moore had been a very strong constituency MP.
“My concern, however, is that for the last five years it is his party which has kept in power the Tories who have wrecked the economy.
“Many of those who voted Lib Dem at the 2010 general election did so to keep the Tories out of government and instead got exactly the opposite.
“It’s time for real change here and that will only happen if people get out and vote for a Labour government.”