Lesley Laird steps down from councillor role

Lesley Laird MP has today (Wednesday) tendered resignation as councillor for the Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay ward – effective from Friday, June 8.

The move comes after the MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath was confirmed as deputy leader of the Scottish Labour Party on Monday.

In a letter to Steve Grimmond, chief executive of Fife Council, she thanked him and his team for their support during her time as councillor, spokesperson for economy and planning and latterly as depute leader of the Council.

She wrote: “It was a fantastic experience and I have learned a great deal about the work of local government and its support of the communities it serves.

“It has been a pleasure to be a ward councillor and to serve the people of Inverkeithing, Aberdour, Dalgety Bay and North Queensferry and I find myself in the fortunate position to still be able to serve communities in the Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency in my role as MP.”

Lesley was elected as a councillor in 2012. During her tenure she ensured the long-overdue regeneration and delivery of new housing for Fraser Avenue in Inverkeithing, as well as significant investment in the Wing and other sports facilities in Inverkeithing, Dalgety Bay and North Queensferry.

She also ensured investment in Donibristle Industrial Estate and the demolition of the eye-sore Maxwell building.

More recently, she campaigned for a replacement Inverkeithing High School, delivery of the promised radiation clean-up at Dalgety Bay and has regularly tackled flight path and train issues flagged up by concerned residents.

In Lesley’s confirmation speech as deputy leader of Scottish Labour on Monday she made a commitment to continue to champion local government.

She said: “Politics doesn’t stop at Westminster or at Holyrood.

“I have served in local government, and I know that councils are the frontline and last line of defence for our communities. I will continue to be your voice.

“Councils across Scotland have been deliberately weakened. Their powers sucked into centralising Holyrood.  I want that to change. Councils are best placed to make decisions in their areas – for the benefit of their communities.”

Speaking today, she added: “With a seven per cent cut in real terms from council budgets by the SNP government since 2013, sadly we can all see only too well the impact those cuts are having on our communities and the services they value.

“Labour has a bigger vision for Scotland. And, as I’ve said before, not only should new powers transfer to the Scottish Parliament but that democratic franchise should be extended to local government.”