Prestonpans and District Labour Party has chosen its candidates for next year’s local council elections, with Council leader Willie Innes, former county MP Fiona O’Donnell, and branch Chair Brian Weddell set to contest the Preston, Seton, Gosford ward in May.

Cllr Innes is a long-standing local representative, having represented the Preston, Seton, Gosford ward since 2007 and been a councillor in Prestonpans for many years before that. He lives in Prestonpans.

Ms O’Donnell was the MP for East Lothian between 2010 and 2015 and is now working for a charity which supports adults with learning disabilities in East Lothian. She is a former Port Seton resident and currently in the process of returning to live in the ward.

Brian Weddell lives in Prestonpans, is a member of the town’s community council and was previously a councillor on Lothian Region.

Cllr Willie Innes said:

“It has been a great honour to represent this area on East Lothian Council for some 28 years now. I have always done my utmost for the people I represent and I’m delighted that the branch has again put its faith in me to contest next year’s election.

“The Labour Group has a very positive record on which to fight this election. Over the last four and half years we have fixed the county’s finances and protected essential frontline services from SNP Government cuts and centralisation. Protecting and enhancing key local services will remain our central mission if we are returned at next year’s election. Only Labour will be stronger for this area and the whole of East Lothian.”

Fiona O’Donnell said:

“My involvement in politics has always been driven by desire to improve peoples’ lives and make our communities better, stronger places. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to represent this area for five years as the local MP, and now hope to be able to do so as one of this ward’s councillors.

“It’s very clear that the SNP simply will not stand up for East Lothian’s interests. They have failed the county time after time, not least when they were last in office here and racked up eye-watering debts at the expense of local residents. They also closed the police station in Prestonpans to the public and tried to foist an industrial scale energy park on Cockenzie. Labour always puts East Lothian first.”

Brian Weddell said:

“I have had the privilege of being a councillor previously and would want to hit the ground running if elected as one of Preston, Seton, Gosford’s Labour representatives. As a community councillor I already have a good understanding of the key issues facing the community and living in one of the town’s newer housing developments I would be a strong voice for local residents.

“I believe Prestonpans and the wider East Lothian has a fantastic opportunity to transform our community if we can get cruise liners to berth at Cockenzie and I am committed to doing all I can to see that delivered. I look forward to taking our positive message out to communities across the ward in the months ahead.”

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