Aileen McLeod reflects on election defeat

SNP candidate Aileen McLeod

SNP candidate Aileen McLeod

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Former SNP MSP Aileen McLeod speaks about her disappointment at last week’s Scottish Parlimentary Elections and her time working for the people of the south of Scotland.

Aileen told The Galooway Gazette; “The result of the election in Galloway & west Dumfries was of course a great disappointment to me – while the SNP’s share of the vote rose to levels only matched by Alasdair Morgan in 1999, we didn’t do well enough to take back the seat for the first time since 2003. I congratulate Finlay Carson on his victory and I wish him well for the next five years.

“Looking back at my time as an MSP what strikes me most is the breadth and variety of work we did in that time. From promoting a long-distance walking route to Whithorn, to highlighting in Parliament the fantastic work of the Galloway Mountain Rescue Team or the opportunities the Biosphere and the Dark Skies Park present in increasing tourism and attracting visitors to the region, I was able to gain a wider audience though Parliamentary debates for many of the good things that are going on across this region.

“Even before I was appointed Minister for Environment, Climate Change & Land Reform I had an interest in different forms of land tenure, and I was able to secure the creation of the first Scottish Woodlots, a new form of land tenure which will allow local people with an interest forestry to manage their own woods for their own benefit. And of course there was the Scottish Government’s response to the severe flooding in Newton Stewart late last year. I had hoped to see through the construction of comprehensive flood defences for the town, to better protect it from future flooding events.”

“There were many things I’d hoped to do over the next five years, but I will always be grateful for the opportunity I had to meet and work with so many fantastic people and to make so many firm friends along the way. Galloway is a special part of Scotland, on which I will always think of with affection, and I wish everyone I’ve had the pleasure of working with and representing the very best for the future.”