A FIFTH candidate has emerged in the Haddington and Lammermuir ward for May’s East Lothian Council election.

George McGuire will represent the Conservatives and is hoping to follow in the footsteps of party colleague Craig Hoy, who will step down from the role to concentrate on his position as a South Scotland MSP.

The former grade two football referee, who lives in Haddington with wife Lorraine, is a former civil servant and works part-time as an ambulance driver with the blood transfusion service.

He said: “As a Haddington resident with grandchildren living in the town, I know what a fantastic place it is to live and to bring up a family

“I also know how much the area has changed in recent years and that is why it is important we strive to ensure it continues to be a fantastic place to live, work and play.

“It would be an honour and a privilege to take on the role of representing the town and our village communities.”

Mr McGuire highlighted a number of matters which he felt needed to be addressed.

He said: “With the population having grown, there are a number of issues I would like to focus on, including ensuring that we have the right infrastructure such as roads and railways in place.

“We need to take steps to revitalise the town centre and tackle issues such as anti-social behaviour and to enhance local recreational facilities and amenities for young people. We also need to address problems including speeding in villages such as Gifford, Humbie, Ormiston and Pencaitland.

“Many people have mentioned local problems including dog fouling, planning and overdevelopment.”

Four seats are to be filled in the ward. Also confirmed as standing are Provost John McMillan and Shamin Akhtar, who both represent Labour and are hoping to retain their seats, while Stuart Crawford (Liberal Democrats) and Jackie Swailes (Greens) are also in the running.

The SNP, which currently holds one of the four seats through Tom Trotter, is yet to announce a candidate.