ANOTHER three candidates have been confirmed as standing in the East Lothian Council elections in May, taking the total number of candidates confirmed so far to 37.

Among them is a long-standing community councillor and children's entertainer who is looking to make the step-up to East Lothian Council after being confirmed as the Conservatives' final candidate for the election.

The Conservatives have named a total of seven candidates – three fewer than Labour and SNP, and one more than the Greens – ahead of May 5.

Donna Collins (Dunbar and East Linton) joins George McGuire (Haddington and Lammermuir) and Judy Lockhart-Hunter (North Berwick Coastal) in hoping to be elected for the first time, while Katie Mackie (Musselburgh), Lachlan Bruce (Preston Seton Gosford), Gordon Mackett (Tranent, Macmerry and Wallyford) and Jeremy Findlay (North Berwick Coastal) are seeking re-election.

East Lothian Courier:

The Conservatives have announced their seven candidates for May's local authority elections. Pictured with Stephen Kerr MSP (third from right) and retiring councillor Craig Hoy MSP (right) are (from left) Katie Mackie (Musselburgh), George McGuire (Haddington and Lammermuir), Judy Lockhart-Hunter (North Berwick Coastal), Donna Collins (Dunbar and East Linton) and Lachlan Bruce (Preston Seton Gosford). Pictured inset are (bottom left) Jeremy Findlay (North Berwick Coastal) and (bottom right) Gordon Mackett (Tranent, Wallyford and Macmerry)

Anthony Stodart. chairman of East Lothian Conservative and Unionist Association, said: “I’m delighted that we have been able to put together such a strong team of candidates, all of whom are passionate about their local areas and East Lothian as a whole.

“All live within their respective wards, are well aware of what the local issues are, and are keen to ensure their constituents' views are well represented in the council’s decision-making process.”

The selection of Mrs Collins confirms that three of the party’s existing councillors – Jane Henderson, Craig Hoy and Sue Kempson, who were all elected in 2017 – will be standing down.

Mrs Collins (pictured below) has represented Innerwick on East Lammermuir Community Council for the last 12 years.

East Lothian Courier:

She runs the family farm at Thorntonloch, as well as having been an entertainer travelling all over the UK for the past 27 years, performing as Gladys Chucklebutty.

The candidate plays an active role in the local and wider community as a trained volunteer first responder and has been a member of the Lothian’s 4x4 response team for over a decade.

Standing in the Haddington and Lammermuir ward is Mr McGuire, who lives in Haddington with his wife.

The former civil servant works as a part-time driver with the blood transfusion service, transporting the Scottish Organ Retrieval Team.

A keen football fan, Mr McGuire is a former FIFA linesman and Grade 2 football referee, alongside being an enthusiastic motorcyclist and organiser of the annual Thunder in the Glens motorcycle rally in Aviemore.

Completing the new trio is Mrs Lockhart-Hunter, chairperson of North Berwick Community Council.

The former Law Primary and North Berwick High School pupil studied economics and law at the University of Northampton.

Now, she works in financial services, audit and compliance, and for the last five years has played an active part in thSuperuser e local community.

As well as chairing the community council, she is a member of North Berwick Harbour Trust and the Coastal Communities Museum.

Mr Bruce, leader of the Conservative Group on the council, said “We have put together a fantastic selection of candidates.

“Each will be a great local representative of their communities on East Lothian Council, and I look forward to campaigning with each of them in the run-up to the election on May 5.”

Two more candidates

Meanwhile, two other parties have confirmed further candidates for the elections.

East Lothian SNP members have announced that Liz Allan (pictured below) will be their candidate for the North Berwick Coastal ward.

East Lothian Courier:

Liz is standing for election after a career in international education, as well as time spent as a carer.

Originally from Manchester, Liz moved to East Lothian to care for her father before making her home here.

She said: “I am passionate about many things: healthcare, support for those needing care, and education and youth services.

“If elected, I will work with councillors of all parties to push the UK Government to increase support for the people of Ukraine, as well as dedicating myself to improving life chances.

“My immediate priorities will be representing the community as we seek to ensure the reopening of the Edington as soon as is feasibly possible, and holding developers to account to provide housing and infrastructure that suits our communities’ needs.”

East Lothian Courier:

In addition, former councillor Jacquie Bell (pictured above) is attempting to become a councillor again.

Jacquie, who represented the Dunbar and East Linton ward from 2007 to 2012, is standing for the East Lothian Liberal Democrats in the ward in May’s council elections.

Jacquie, who has lived in Belhaven for more than 30 years, said: “I am delighted to again have the opportunity to represent the community I care for.

“I want to be a councillor who listens to the views of local residents, not just in Dunbar but also in the smaller villages and rural areas, and advocates for them on important matters.

“Also, I want to continue my work in maintaining and improving our towns and villages through partnership with East Lothian Council officers and other agencies.”

A retired hospital social worker, Jacquie is secretary of Dunbar Community Council and chairperson of Dunbar and East Linton Area Partnership.

Candidates list

Candidates so far confirmed as standing at the East Lothian Council election on May 5, are:

  • ALBA – Morgwn Davies (Haddington and Lammermuir)
  • Conservatives – Katie Mackie (Musselburgh), Lachlan Bruce (Preston Seton Gosford), Gordon Mackett (Tranent, Wallyford and Macmerry), Jeremy Findlay (North Berwick Coastal), Judy Lockhart-Hunter (North Berwick Coastal), George McGuire (Haddington and Lammermuir), Donna Collins (Dunbar and East Linton)
  • Greens – Shona McIntosh (Musselburgh), Tim Porteus (Preston Seton Gosford), Marnie Stirling (Tranent, Wallyford and Macmerry), Jacq Cottrell (North Berwick Coastal), Jackie Swailes (Haddington and Lammermuir), Mark James (Dunbar and East Linton)
  • Labour – Ruaridh Bennett (Musselburgh), Andy Forrest (Musselburgh), Brooke Ritchie (Preston Seton Gosford), Colin Yorkston (Preston Seton Gosford), Fiona Dugdale (Tranent, Wallyford and Macmerry), Colin McGinn (Tranent, Wallyford and Macmerry), Carol McFarlane (North Berwick Coastal), Shamin Akhtar (Haddington and Lammermuir), John McMillan (Haddington and Lammermuir), Norman Hampshire (Dunbar and East Linton)
  • Liberal Democrats – Stuart Crawford (Haddington and Lammermuir), Jacquie Bell (Dunbar and East Linton)
  • SNP – Cher Cassini (Musselburgh), Iain Whyte (Musselburgh), Neil Gilbert (Preston Seton Gosford), Janis Wilson (Preston Seton Gosford), Kenny McLeod (Tranent, Wallyford and Macmerry), Lee-Anne Menzies (Tranent, Wallyford and Macmerry), Liz Allan (North Berwick Coastal), Graeme MacGregor (Haddington and Lammermuir), Tom Trotter (Haddington and Lammermuir), Lyn Jardine (Dunbar and East Linton)
  • STUSC – Jimmy Haddow (Tranent, Wallyford and Macmerry)