Family battle for Clydebank council by-election as aunt and nephew go head to head

As Clydebank residents head to the polls this week to elect their new councillor, two candidates in particular will go head to head in a bid to win the public vote.

Fiona Hennebry of the Scottish Labour party will be standing against her nephew, Nathan Hennebry of the Communist Party.

Both played down the family battle, insisting they were just looking to help the people of Clydebank and tackle local issues.

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They are among seven candidates looking to win the council seat when voters go to the polls on Thursday, June 13.

The Clydebank Central by-election was called to appoint a replacement for disgraced former councillor Craig Edward, who resigned after admitting possessing indecent images of children, for which he has been jailed for 28 months.

Nathan, who says he is committed to fighting for a better future for Clydebank Central, says he “doesn’t have any emotions” about going head to head with a relative and “isn’t fazed about it”.

Nathan said: “I don’t have any emotions about it. I never knew she was running till the list of candidates came out but I wasn’t fazed about it.

“I remain committed to fighting for a better future, a socialist future, for the people of Clydebank and Scotland.

“Fiona is representing the Labour Party which alongside the past SNP administrations has overseen drastic cuts to crucial council run and controlled services/facilities - Clydebank has had enough of this and those who represent the establishment parties who are pushing through cuts and liquidating services into the hands of private monopolies.

“None of the other candidates have shown or seem to show a clear support for the Trade Unions and the local TUC when it comes to fighting against cuts - I’m a shop steward, branch secretary and vice convener for the GMB, as well as chair for its young workers network. I’m also a member of the Clydebank TUC.

“I know fully how important working with trade unions is when it comes to pushing for a no cuts budget.

“If the workers of Clydebank want a councillor who will work with the trade unions, tenants union, and community campaigners in fighting against cuts, campaigning for more and better council housing, bringing public transport into our hands, the regeneration of our local high-streets and communities, jobs for the youth, union rights and the vote at 16 as well as a CEASEFIRE NOW! in Ukraine and Gaza - then the Hennebry that they should vote for is Nathan Hennebry.”

Meanwhile Fiona Hennebry of Scottish Labour says it would be an “immense privilege” to represent her community.

She said: “For too long our community has been failed by two incompetent governments.

“Too many families are struggling with a Tory cost of living crisis and an SNP NHS crisis – but this is not as good as it gets. In this by-election I am standing to be a local campaign for Clydebank Central, and if elected I will work tirelessly to represent our community and speak up for its residents.

“This is the area I call home and it would be an immense privilege to represent it.

“I will fight for a fair funding deal for our area and focus on the issues that matter to you.

“On July 4, people across the UK have an opportunity to vote for change with Labour, and on Thursday Clydebank Central can lead the way.”

The seven candidates are as follows:

Fiona Hennebry - Scottish Labour Party

Nathan Hennebry - Communist Party of Britain

Ewan McGinnigle - Scottish Conservative and Unionist

Andrew Joseph Muir - Independent

Kai Robert Murray Pyper - Scottish Liberal Democrats

Marina Scanlan - Scottish National Party (SNP)

Kelly Wilson - Sovereignty

During the campaign each of the candidates has been approached for comment.

Kelly Wilson, of Sovereignty, is a Scottish nationalist committed to Dumbarton.

She said: “Anti-social behaviour in Dumbarton is a significant and growing problem. Damage to properties, illicit drug use and the extent of litter has led to a visible deterioration of our local open spaces and the misuse of disabled parking spaces needs also to be addressed.

“We also require action to address chronic housing by investing in appropriate social housing, additional green spaces, reliable rubbish collection, prompt road and pavements repairs for citizens and cyclists as well as additional community activities for our young people.

“My vision for Dumbarton, and which I would fight for as your councillor, would firstly be to amplify your concerns. I would also aim to address anti-social behaviour, clean up the town centre we pay for and inject life back into our town centre while promoting local produce.

“We need action to create a sense of community as well as to accelerate economic and environmental development. I hope you will put your trust in me.”

Ewan McGinnigle of the Scottish Conservatives and Unionist Party says he will fight for “real priorities” and a “brighter future” for Clydebank Central.

He said: “For too long this area has been overlooked in terms of investment and I am determined to change that. I will fight to create an economic environment within Clydebank that breeds opportunity, prosperity and stability.

“Our communities have suffered greatly from SNP funding cuts being passed down from Edinburgh to West Dunbartonshire Council.

“These budget cuts have deeply impacted the services local people rely on. I will fight for a fair funding deal for West Dunbartonshire Council so that we can protect our children’s schools, our social care services, repair our roads and stop local services from closing. To look to a brighter future we must first protect what is so vital in our communities.

“If I am fortunate enough to be elected by those living in Clydebank Central, then I will push for a better Clydebank. One of optimism and opportunity.

“I will advocate for greater investment in our town centre, attracting new business to set up in Clydebank as well creating the environment necessary for those businesses to thrive. Such investment would create good jobs for those living in the area, boosting the economy after years of SNP neglect from Holyrood.

“A vote for me on June 13 is for a councillor who will fight for a bright future for Clydebank central and relentlessly work on the issues that matter to you.”

Voting will get underway from 7am on June 13, with the seven available polling places remaining open until the vote closes at 10pm.

The count will take place immediately after the polls close, with a declaration as soon as possible thereafter.

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