THE Central Ward's newly elected councillor hailed a "marvellous" result as she sets her sights on community engagement and local issues.

SNP candidate Jane McTaggart was blown away by the support she had received in the lead up to last Thursday's, March 28, by-election which saw the minority local authority administration retain its seat following the departure of Councillor Phil Fairlie.

The campaign concluded with 865 votes for now Cllr McTaggart, whose closest challenger was Labour's Margaret Brookes, who received 675 ballot papers.

Third came Conservative William Marlin with 419 while Dawson Michie of Ukip, Marion Robertson of the Scottish Greens and John Shier Biggam of the Lib-Dems followed in descending order, each receiving less than 100 votes.

Just under 35 per cent, 2,146, of electors came out to the polling stations on the day.

Speaking about the campaign, Jane said: "I had fabulous support; from MPs, MSPs, SNP activists, members, local activists – it was brilliant."

She was "delighted" and, "overwhelmed by the result", wanted to thank everyone who voted for her on the day.

Jane will be meeting with the rest of the administration to see how she can best support ongoing work with her skills, but highlighted she wants to hear about local issues from residents.

Traffic issues, especially regarding the speed of vehicles approaching the communities of Fishcross and Coalsnaughton, have already come out during the campaign and the representative hopes to dig her teeth right in.

Jane explained by saying: "There was a number of people raised that [traffic problems] in Sauchie and in Fishcross so I have already spoken with MSP Keith Brown, we had a few words regarding how we might move forward with this.

"I certainly intend to act on that as quickly as possible."

In the past, Jane had been closely involved with communities and the third sector, having been the founding director of Clackmannanshire Third Sector Interface, and she will be looking to build on her past experiences.

She told the Advertiser: "I'll be very interested to be further involved with how community cohesion might work in the area; strengthening and empowering communities and really looking at the way which elected members can listen to communities and maybe see how we can help them to get what they need in communities.

"Although the money is tight, we are getting less and less money to do more and more, if there's any way in which I can help then I'm more than happy to do so."

She also wanted to thank family and friends for putting up with her when she was "full-on and in campaign mode".