BELOW are brief profiles of the eight candidates standing for election in the Tranent, Wallyford and Macmerry ward at the East Lothian Council election on Thursday, May 4.

Four of them will be elected.

Tranent, Wallyford and Macmerry is a replacement for the old Fa'side ward. Its boundaries differ in that Ormiston and Pencaitland, traditionally part of Fa'side, have moved to Haddington and Lammermuir ward, but Wallyford and Whitecraig have been included in their place.

The current Fa'side ward has 3 Labour councillors and 1 SNP

Candidates are listed below in alphabetical order.


Fiona Dugdale (Labour)

East Lothian Courier:

FIONA Dugdale has lived in Tranent for 11 years. She is an NHS employee and works in frontline health care in mental health. Fiona is a member of Tranent and Elphinstone Community Council. She said: “I love living in this area, with its mix of town and villages, and I would relish the opportunity to help further improve the area we all live in, and to work with local people and communities in the area to achieve this.”


Jim Gillies (Labour)

East Lothian Courier:

JIM Gillies has represented the Fa’side ward on the council since 2007 and served as depute provost since 2012. Prior to his election, he had served on his local community council for many years. Jim worked in the Tranent Co-op for over 30 years. He has been one of the organisers of the Fa’side Family Fireworks Display for several years and is a supporter of local groups including Radio Saltire and Centre Stage.


Alexander Graham (Liberal Democrats)

East Lothian Courier:

ALEXANDER Graham works at Heriot-Watt University as a research chemist. He became involved in local politics to be a strong advocate for communities. He said: “With large housing developments already under construction, I want to ensure that services are maintained, if not improved, and that plans are created to stimulate the local economy... so that locals can both live and work here.”


Jimmy Hadddow (Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition)

East Lothian Courier:

JIMMY Haddow was born in Macmerry and schooled at Ross High School. He worked as a maintenance electrician in two factories, gained academic degrees to Masters level and taught offenders social science, returning from Kent in 2010 to live in Tranent and volunteer for the Citizens Advice Bureau. For four decades, he has been  an active trade unionist and socialist community campaigner.


Gordon Mackett (Conservative)

East Lothian Courier:

GORDON Mackett attended Tranent Infant/Primary and Ross High School, and works within the recruitment industry. He lives with his wife, daughter and Staffordshire bull terrier. He said: “I am member of the East Lothian Conservative Executive committee and was very proud to be selected to be a candidate. I have enjoyed campaigning and I would feel immensely proud if I was selected to be a councillor.”


Colin McGinn (Labour)

East Lothian Courier:

COLIN McGinn has lived in Tranent all his life and for the past 25 years has devoted his time to representing the local people on a wide range of committees and community groups. He said: “My promise to people in the Tranent, Wallyford and Macmerry ward is that if they put their trust in me, I will work diligently to ensure everyone is represented and can have a voice on the issues that concern them.”


Kenny McLeod (SNP)

East Lothian Courier:

KENNY McLeod is the current SNP councillor for the old Fa’side ward. He said: “With over 26 years’ experience in local government and the community, I feel I have the knowledge and experience to make real difference. I always give 100 per cent to local constituents and local groups whenever possible to help our community prosper. Electing an SNP council will ensure we can meet the many challenges ahead.”


Linda Watson (SNP)

East Lothian Courier:

LINDA Watson was a primary school teacher specialising in early education. She was deputy principal of Moray House Nursery School, took a Masters degree at the University of Edinburgh and worked in a schools across the Lothians. Latterly she became deputy head at Loretto Junior School. Linda and her partner Roger Knox have two grown-up daughters. She is convener of Musselburgh & District SNP.