Joan McAlpine has vowed to carry on her campaign for City Status for Dumfries and more ambition for the region after raising the SNP vote in Dumfriesshire from 8384 in 2011 to 12,306 last week. She came a close second to the Conservatives who beat the Labour incumbent of 17 years Elaine Murray.
Ms McAlpine, who will continue to serve as a Scottish Parliament regional member, raised the SNP vote share by 7.7%, the highest in the South of Scotland region and much higher than the party’s national rise of 1.2%.
Ms McAlpine has now written to the new MSP for Dumfriesshire Oliver Mundell after he said in his victory speech that he hoped to work with her on some of the ideas she raised to boost jobs and investment in the region in the course of the campaign.
“Our local SNP campaign was very positive and offered constructive ways to take the region forward – such as lobbying for city region status to unleash UK government infrastructure investment. I am pleased that the new MSP has acknowledged that, and I would be delighted to accept his invitation to work with him in parliament to promote these ideas.
“In the course of the campaign when the Deputy First Minister John Swinney agreed to my request that the Government hold a transport summit in Dumfries where we could set more ambitious goals to better link the constituency to the rest of Scotland and upgrade the A75.”
Ms McAlpine said the SNP’s historic third term in government would benefit Dumfriesshire even though the constituency itself fell to the Conservatives.
“Nicola Sturgeon’s government is good news for young people in Dumfriesshire going to university and college – their education remains free under the SNP. Low income people will continue to get free medicine. The new SNP government will invest above-inflation sums in the NHS, vastly improve social care and double free early years provision.
“All this will benefit Dumfriesshire people – one reason why we have polled so well in Dumfriesshire and elsewhere. Across Scotland the SNP polled more constituency votes that the Conservatives and Labour combined. That’s a huge vote of confidence in The SNP, in Nicola Sturgeon, and the manifesto commitments. I cannot wait to get back to work again to put that manifesto into practise,” said Ms McAlpine.
Notes to editors:
Copy letter to Oliver Mundell MSP attached.