Election 2015: Aisha Mir
Liberal Democrat Candidate explains "why her?"
I want to see a fairer Midlothian – where everyone feels their voice counts and people from all walks of life can call home; where people can access excellent healthcare and education. I want a prosperous county, where hard working individuals can grow their business and where people have access to high quality jobs. This is my vision –a Scottish Liberal Democrat vision – and it is one I hope that you will share on May 7th.
Making you better off
Scottish Liberal Democrats are very proud of our record in Government. People on low and middle incomes will be paying £900 less tax. Pensioners across Scotland are better off. And, critically, many people have been taken out of tax altogether. Moreover, we have already delivered one of the largest devolution packages in British history and, with the Smith Commission, paved the way for more. It’s a record of fairness we are justifiably proud of, but it’s not been easy and at times we’ve had to fight as hard against Conservative proposals. We would have liked to have seen House of Lords reform and changes to the electoral system added to the list.
We all want to see a thriving Penicuik, with a great high street, schools and local facilities. It is vital that we protect these local services and prevent the relentless centralisation of services. If elected as your local representative, I would work hard to represent the view of people across Midlothian and support local businesses.
Investing in health
Improving our health service in Midlothian and beyond is one of our priorities. I know from my own personal experience how hard it can be to get the right quality of care for our loved ones. We promise to increase health spending by £800m in Scotland by 2020. This is a fully costed proposal, which would be largely paid out of budget changes. However, the bigger, more important change that we want to see is a renewed focus on mental health – all too often neglected, yet vital to so many people. We want to ensure that access to specialist treatment is available to those who need it.
Supporting local communities
We all want to see vibrant local towns and services. It seems ironic then that the current Scottish Government has supported the closure of local services, such as local police stations, and have cut local government funding and the support that they can offer to the voluntary sector. We want to see investment in local facilities and in local youth and preventative work. Cutting these services will only cost us more in the long-run.
A thriving Midlothian
Of course, creating a more prosperous Midlothian can only come about if people have good quality homes to live in, better childcare and the transport infrastructure is there to help people get around. We all want to see new housing, but it is just as vital that the transport infrastructure is in place first. Scottish Liberal Democrats have campaigned for the new Borders Railway from the outset and we are delighted to see it finally coming to fruition, opening this September. It will bring huge benefits to residents across Midlothian, but more needs to be done to bring our road network up date to cope with the ever-growing number of cars on our roads. And while Midlothian has a network of electric car charging points, this needs to be better promoted.
Supporting local business
As someone who runs their own family business, I know how hard it can be to make ends meet. Scottish Liberal Democrats have ensured that the British economy has been rebuilt. We have encouraged research and developed and worked with industry to create new jobs. We want to see Midlothian companies taking advantage of this, from supporting small and medium sized industries around Loanhead to the development of world-beating biotech at the Bush Estate, there are great opportunities, but they need on-going Government support.
Protecting your rights
We are the only party committed to strengthening human rights protections at home and abroad. Liberal Democrats have stopped the Conservatives from scrapping the Human Rights Act and breaking the link between British courts and the European Court of Human Rights. In Scotland, we have led the defence of civil liberties in the face of stop and search many times higher than that in England, armed police on routine duties, plans to scrap corroboration and more.
In short, I believe that we can make Midlothian a better place to live, work and enjoy.