Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Why Dunfermline and West Fife needs Willie Rennie

I've been an enthusiastic member of Team Rennie in Dunfermline for over 4 years now. The spectacular by-election which saw him take the seat from Labour in 2006 gave West Fife a dedicated, hardworking and likeable constituency MP who has fought tirelessly for his constituents ever since.

While Labour spent decades taking the area for granted, Wille has spent his time knocking on thousands of doors, visiting local businesses and supporting them during the recession,feeding back how the banks were refusing to lend to viable businesses, which prompted Vince Cable to include compulsory lending targets in our manifesto and fighting Labour dithering over the aircraft carriers and pressing them to make sure that the contracts were signed for them to be built at Rosyth. Labour's contempt for the area continues, though, as they plan to turn Rosyth, a dockyard which was snubbed when jobs for building Trident were taken away, into a dumping ground for those and other nuclear submarines. Willie shares the fury of the local community and has had a massive response to his petition opposing this.

I've known Willie since I came back to Scotland and I think that he is one of the best elected representatives at any level I have ever worked with. Anyone who has ever been to see him at a surgery will know how he's been honest with them and has listened carefully to their concerns. They'll know that he will fight for them as far as possible. He hasn't won every case, but he's not left any stones unturned. Many people who have had real problems with tax credits, benefits being paid on time, anti social behaviour, problems with pensions will be aware of the kindness with which he has listened to them and the tenacity with which he has fought on their behalf. Often people have come to him after their Labour representatives have let them down.

In just 4 years, Willie has achieved a huge amount for the area and beyond. A main part of his by-election campaign was putting an end to Labour's planned £4 toll for the Forth Road Bridge - he went beyond that and campaigned successfully for bridge tolls to be abolished. Sure, he didn't do it alone, but he led the way.

Because of Willie and the local Liberal Democrat councillors the crumbling Dunfermline High School is finally going to be rebuilt.

Because of Willie my daughter will be safer when she learns to drive after the new law he introduced (after Labour failed to live up to their promises, surprise surprise) to protect learner drivers from driving instructors convicted of sexual assault.

As a rule, I keep my work away from my blog - and for heavens' sake don't tell Willie I've said nice things about him or I'll have it thrown back at me every time I give him cheek in the future - but as part of the team, albeit for health reasons a much smaller one than I once was, I feel passionately about the work we've done over the past 4 years and want him to be given the chance to continue. He will never take local folk for granted and will always do his absolute best for them.

If you happen to live in West Fife and happen to have a few hours to spare over the next two days, call the office on 841700, e-mail or come along to 1 High Street, Dunfermline above the Tourist information office and you will be made very welcome.

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