Labour party members in the Haddington and Lammermuir ward have selected sitting councillors John McMillan and Shamin Akhtar to be the party’s candidates in next year’s local elections.

The changes to the authority’s ward boundaries, which Labour fought as damaging to local community ties, will see Pencaitland and Ormiston move from the current Fa’side ward into Haddington and Lammermuir, making it a four Member ward from May.

Cllr McMillan, who lives in Haddington, has represented the current Haddington and Lammermuir ward since 2012. Cllr Akhtar, a Pencaitland resident, has represented the Fa’side ward since the last elections.

Both have been Council Cabinet Spokespeople over the last four and a half years, with Cllr McMillan leading on economic development and tourism, and Cllr Akhtar speaking on education and children’s services.

Cllr John McMillan said:

“As a long-standing Haddington resident, it has been a great honour to serve as one of the town’s elected representatives for the past four and half years. It has allowed me to support the improvement of local services and assist many of the great local causes and organisations in and around the town.

“As well as continuing with that work, I also want to keep driving forward our plans for boosting the local economy and tourism and creating new training and job opportunities. This has been one of the great successes of the current Labour administration, but I know we can do even more to make East Lothian a great place to live, work, play and study.”

Cllr Shamin Akhtar said:

“Representing the Fa’side ward has been an amazing privilege over the last few years. While the outcome of the boundary review remains disappointing, I’m very pleased to have the opportunity to continue representing Pencaitland and Ormiston, as well as Haddington and the other villages in this new ward.

“I will be campaigning hard to be a strong voice for local villages and to stand up for their interests. I will also be seeking to ensure that the positive progress we have made in the county’s schools and for our young people continues under a Labour-led administration after May’s election.”

Haddington Branch Chair, David Stevenson, added:

“In John and Shamin we have selected two very able candidates who have a vast amount of experience and local knowledge. They are also great campaigners and the branch is looking forward to working with them across the whole of the new ward to highlight Labour’s many achievements locally and expose how the SNP has been letting our county down.”


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