Eight candidates bid to replace Dysart’s ‘invisible councillor’

By-election is to replace the 'invisible councillor'
By-election is to replace the 'invisible councillor'

The run up to the festive period and beyond is going to be a busy time for the eight candidates standing for the Kirkcaldy east ward in the forthcoming by-election.

All the major parties are contesting the seat vacated by the ‘invisible councillor’ Arthur Morrison who quit in November.

And campaigning will include door knocking during the festive period.

The by-election takes place on January 22 - and with nominations formally closed, all eight will be looking at a short campaign which will include leafleting, meetings and introducing themselves to the communities.

There are some familiar faces standing.

Labour are fielding Liz Easton who is well known for her work as general secretary with Kirkcaldy YMCA, while the SNP are pinning their hopes on college lecturer Marie Penman who was one of the leading figures in the Yes campaign in Kirkcaldy.

Callum Leslie (Lib Dems), Peter Adams (UKIP) and local businessman Edgar Cook (Conservatives), have stood in various elections locally in the past.

They’ll be joined by Claire Reid from the Ecology Centre in Kinghorn, who is flying the flag for the Green Party.

There are also two independents – Alistair McIntyre from Rosyth, and Ronald Hunter from Leven.

The seat was held by the SNP’s Arthur Morrison who quit in November.

Conservative Councillor David Dempsey, who nominated Mr Cook, said: “We’ll be talking to local people about what’s important to them. Obviously we’ll take time out over the holiday period as we don’t feel that voters would thank us for knocking on their doors over Christmas and New Year.”

Councillor Neil Crooks, who put forward Liz Easton, added: “It’s a very short campaign with Christmas and New Year dominating.

“I’m delighted to see so many people standing in the ward and look forward to their challenge.”

Fife Council’s depute returning officer, Linda Bissett, said: “There are eight candidates. It’s great to see such a high number of people wishing to be considered as the new councillor for the ward.”

By-election after resignation

The Kirkcaldy east by election was triggered by the resignation of Councillor Arthur Morrison after the Press dubbed him “the invisible man.” We revealed in August that he had only attended a handful of meetings since being elected to Fife Council over two years ago.

Mr Morrison said his work in Austria meant he had to be away for long periods of time, but he continued to draw over £16,000 in salary as a councillor until his resignation early in November.