A RANGE of issues come to the fore as candidates for Clackmannanshire East make their pitch to voters.

Currently, the ward is represented by the SNP, Conservative and Labour parties, who have one councillor each.

All three parties are hoping for secure seats once more, along with the Greens, Liberal Democrats as well as one independent.

Issues such as a housing, transport, waste management and local infrastructure will be among the priorities of the seven Clacks East hopefuls next month.

Denis Coyne, one of two Conservative hopefuls for the ward, said: "Having lived and worked and educated my children in Clackmannanshire since my wife and I came here 37 years ago, I was motivated to become a councillor by a desire to improve community life, not only in my home ward, but in all of Clackmannanshire.

"I plan to do this by listening to constituents, to local groups, and to businesses, and then to use my decades of experience to facilitate change for the better for all stakeholders in the county.

"To date, I have dealt with over 100 enquiries from residents, and have worked, and continue to work, closely with the community councils and the Dollar Community Development Trust to help them with their plans and ambitions, especially in relation to controlling the impacts of housing developments.

"I am a great believer that continuing good health is greatly facilitated by exercise and a supportive environment, I will focus a good deal of my time working to ensure that the new, state-of-the-art Wellbeing Hub is delivered speedily and on budget."

Neil Gault, the other Conservative representative, added: "As a small-business owner, I want to help other small businesses thrive and ensure new start ups have the support needed to succeed.

"To help do this we need a strong infrastructure with good roads and travel links.

"As a husband and one of two working parents with two children still at primary, I understand the need to have good childcare provisions and a support structure in place not only for the working family but for parents who are in further education too.

"I also want to help support more rural areas of the ward as they are an integral part of Clackmannanshire East and ensure they are not forgotten about.

"Community spirit and development is important to me, I have helped various development trusts in the past, was involved in volunteering at a local pharmacy during the first lockdown to help those most vulnerable to continue to receive their medication."

The SNP's Scott Harrison said: "I am a local boy born and bred and have an enormous pride in our wee county, what it has achieved in the past and how successful it can be in the future.

"I have a real passion for developing young people both through apprenticeships in my work as an engineering manager and also through coaching and organising youth teams for Alloa Rugby Club.

"I believe that everyone in the area deserves to have the same opportunities for work, education and wellbeing activities and that the transformation plans that we have for Clackmannanshire will be able to further unlock the potential of the area.

"If elected I want to ensure the programme to expand social and affordable housing in the area is continued while also making sure that the needs and views of the communities are at the heart of the decision making process."

Marion Robertson, representing the Greens, said: "If you vote for me I pledge to work constructively to give meaningful power to people to protect and improve services, to connect and to build sustainable communities through establishing a citizens' assembly.

"I had a career helping businesses and residents in the Forth Valley to cut waste, save money and reduce their environmental impact.

"When working in Falkirk Council I saw the widening inequalities in our society. It was clear how crucial well-designed, properly resourced, joined-up local services are to people.

"I have been an active member of our rural community campaigning for reinstatement of Muckhart's only bus service.

"Without the X53 rural communities like Muckhart will have no public transport, seriously limiting access to employment, healthcare, education and visitor attractions. Pressure on local roads and the environment will escalate with the new housing developments in Muckhart and Dollar, issues which are already of concern."

Angus Myles is the Liberal Democrats candidate, who lives in the ward area and says he knows the problems locals face with the expected increases in the cost of living and energy combined with poor public transport links, especially to Fife.

He continued: "Scottish Liberal Democrats demand the return of the £250million pound council tax funding from the Scottish Government.

"We will use this to improve local services including cutting the brown bin levy and improving bus services and supporting the Alloa-Kincardine rail link."

Kathleen Martin, looking to win representation for the Labour party, said: "I hope the 10 years that I have served as a councillor in the Clackmannanshire East Ward have demonstrated that I am a committed and diligent worker who cares about the issues that matter to the constituents in our communities, and across Clackmannanshire.

"Over the past 10 years, I have worked on a wide variety of issues for constituents, and with local community groups and voluntary organisations – ranging from health and social care to environmental issues and regeneration.

"If re-elected, I will continue to do this, and use the skills and experience that I have gained during this time, and from my years as a caseworker/researcher in an MP/MSP's office, to support and achieve positive outcomes wherever humanly possible to do so."

Les Calderwood, the independent candidate, said: "First and foremost as a 57-year-old local resident and independent candidate without ties or influence from party politics, I wish to represent all the citizens of Clackmannanshire East.

"I will not replicate the party agendas of a copy and paste manifesto in which many of the unrealistic policies are promised but mostly undelivered.

"The proviso is to work with everyone in council constructively backing and voting for well costed projects that make my constituency a better place to live in.

"However, I will call out bad policies without fear or favour.

"I also feel it is time for a fresh set of eyes in council to represent all my constituent's concerns and to that effect as a world travelled technical engineer I have the ability to listen, I'm open minded and solving problems has been my working remit for over 40 years.

"I am very approachable and will give the residents of Clackmannanshire East free rein to contact me with their issues large or small."