Chris Kane on TOURISM

The Stirling Observer is publishing a series of statements from General Election candidates on set topics.  Here’s what Chris Kane had to say on TOURISM:

IMGP9304 (1)“Stirling is blessed with world class heritage, a stunning environment and a thriving tourist industry.   Two nearby international airports help bring 15 million tourists each year to Scotland.  686,000 people live within sixty minutes of Stirling.  We need a strategy that maximises both day trippers and tourists.  There is much to be proud about including 500,000 visitors each year visiting Stirling Castle.  Doune Castle has seen a 30% visitor increase thanks to the “Outlander” effect. I want Stirling to be more than a ‘must visit’ destination. I want Stirling to be a ‘must stay’ destination with heritage, culture, landscape, tourism and business working deliver the concept of a ‘three day Stirling’. I want to see cultural and economic policies which revitalise all of Stirling’s communities with more shops and restaurants.  I want all of Stirling’s communities marketed in a joined-up way.   We can achieve great things with the “City Region Deal”.  I’m excited by elements including a new park to rival Falkirk’s Helix, built in the shadow of Stirling Castle.  Stirling is one of the only places in Europe that is built on a river but has very limited interaction with it.  The City Deal promises to change this with an ambitious plan to get us on the water.   We need more events like the Stirling Marathon.  Events that punctuate the year and create a buzz.  Events that bring people.  Events that bring focus.  Events that showcase Stirling’s people as well as its environment.  Events that bring money into our local economy.  Events that enrich our cultural experience.  Events that give one more reason to proclaim this is Stirling and we are proud.  As your MP, I’ll be an Ambassador for all our communities wherever I go.  I’m a proud Son of the Rock and I’ll work hard as your MP to deliver for the many, not the few.”

Read more in Scottish Labour’s manifesto here.

Claire Baker MSP – Stirling Observer column

Claire Baker, MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife, writes a regular column for the Stirling Observer newspaper.  Here’s her latest one:

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Claire Baker and Stirling’s General Election Candidate Chris Kane

“As a politician it feels that Scotland has been on a continual election footing since the 2010 General Election, so I can only imagine what it must feel like for voters. A common complaint from a voter on the doors used to be “we only ever see you at elections,” now we are more likely to hear “weren’t you here last week?”

Yet every election from 2010 onwards has brought with it something different and this upcoming one is no exception. When voters enter the booth to put their ‘x’ beside a candidate’s name it will be with thoughts of two referendums; brexit and indyref 2.

Labour is the party which best represents the majority view of the electorate. We support Scotland in the UK and we want to see a close relationship between the UK and Europe. Meanwhile the Conservatives pursuit of a hard brexit and the SNP’s continual insistence that independence is the answer, whatever the question, is damaging Scotland’s interests.

Voters deserve more when choosing the direction of the country for the next five years than two parties promoting their own constitutional agendas. Voters deserve better than the uncertainty and division than these referendums bring. Scotland, and the UK, are at their best when there is a common interest and when the have governments that work to promote prosperity, fairness and opportunity for everyone.

That is why a Labour Government will focus on creating a better society. We will invest £500 billion in infrastructure and industry, backed by a National Investment Bank, we will tackle exploitative zero hour contracts that make it impossible for many people to plan their lives and we will build a progressive tax system.

It is not fair that those who have suffered the most as a result of the banking crisis are those that had the least.  In recent years, the burden has disproportionately fallen on the poorest and there is a need for us all to take responsibility for increasing equality in our country.

We also have the opportunity to elect local Labour MPs that will stand up for their communities, not use their position to posture on the constitution. Many will already know Labour’s candidate Chris Kane as someone who cares passionately about Stirling and someone who is able to bring communities together to work in the common interest. Chris Kane can be your local champion who will fight for the many, not the few and make sure Stirling’s voice is heard.

It is worth remembering the difference a Labour Government can bring – a minimum wage, paternity leave, investment in public services, devolution, creating and protecting the NHS. 

A lot has changed since the last General Election only 2 years ago. The SNP surge has become a slump with their national share of the vote dropping significantly from almost 50% to 32%. Many seats now look vulnerable to a challenge and this snap election might have a few surprises in store across the country.

Yet whilst a lot has changed, one thing remains clear: if you want an MP who stands up for your area, who will always put you and your community first, and who will stand against a second independence referendum, there is really only one candidate to look to, Chris Kane, the Labour Party candidate.  

I urge you to give Chris Kane your vote on 8th June.


The Stirling Observer is publishing a series of statements from General Election candidates on set topics.  Here’s what Chris Kane had to say on RURAL BROADBAND ACCESS:

IMGP9304 (1)“It simply is not acceptable that fast, stable broadband speeds are not available to everyone. Our communities need to be swept along in the digital revolution, not swept aside by it. Labour has committed to deliver universal, superfast broadband availability within five years.  Labour will improve mobile internet coverage and expand provision of free public wi-fi.  A Labour government will instruct the National Infrastructure Commission to report on how to roll out ‘ultrafast’ (300Mbps) across the UK within the next decade.  We need innovative solutions and creative thinking. The public purse is all too often funding the roll out of fibre broadband and then letting private companies decide who gets it, how they use it and what price they pay for it.  Our rural communities are being let down with the current system.  So let’s change it.  Broadband should be delivered to community not commercial priorities.  That’s why I want to see a people’s broadband company.  Not just for internet services, but for green energy and public transport. We need to support great ideas when we see them. I’m in awe of the villagers of Balquhidder who were so fed up of poor broadband that they said stuff it and began digging trenches and laying cables.  I was also disappointed and a little angry that they were forced rather than helped along that path.   We need to ensure our communities benefit from the transformational opportunities of the digital age.  The Labour-led administration on Stirling Council signed a deal earlier this year to see a Gigabit internet connection brought to Stirling.  A huge part of the City Region Deal involves creating an infrastructure to allow Stirling to grow a digital economy.   Labour wants high tech jobs flowing into the city and surrounding communities.  I want our children to have every opportunity to flourish in a digital world without having to contemplate leaving their community to achieve their dreams.   If elected as your MP, I’ll work hard for the many not the few – and that means communities as well as people.”

Read more in Scottish Labour’s manifesto here.

Chris Kane on the CITY DEAL

the Stirling Observer is publishing a series of statements from General Election Candidates on set topics.  Here’s what Chris Kane had to say on the CITY REGION DEAL:

IMGP9304 (1)“Labour priorities are to see skilled jobs, warm homes and vibrant communities across this constituency.  As your Labour MP, I’ll work tirelessly to help realise the potential of the City Region Deal.  It is a once in a generation, truly transformational moment in Stirling’s long and proud history.  By embracing the digital economy as a key element, we are staking our claim to be the centre of this growing economy in Scotland.  I cannot wait to see what potentially world changing apps and programs emerge from the digital business incubator Codebase who have recently moved into Stirling’s Municipal Buildings.   I cannot wait to see all of our children given the opportunity of high paid, highly skilled jobs here at home.  The City Region Deal puts us on the starting line of a green energy revolution. From the tidal power of the River Forth to the geothermic properties of the ground under our feet, we have the natural and human resources to create community owned green energy solutions.  Warm air brought up from the ground to heat our homes instead of burning natural gas.   Greatly reduced fuel bills with prices fixed for decades, helping to reduce fuel poverty, with profits ploughed back into our communities.   With the jobs and new economies will also come visitors, bringing opportunities for tourism growth and more jobs.  As your Labour MP, I’ll work hard to ensure these jobs are well paid and workers are respected.  It is vital that the many, not the few, benefit from the City Region Deal. People from Balfron to Bannockburn need to see the benefits £600 million will bring to them.  As your Labour MP, I’ll ensure the City Region Deal realises its potential so we can continue to say to the world, this is Stirling and we are proud.”  

Read more in Scottish Labour’s manifesto here.


The Stirling Observer has been running a series of statements from General Election candidates on set topics.  Here’s what Chris Kane had to say on RURAL TRANSPORT:

IMGP9304 (1)“As your MP I’ll work hard to ensure public transport works for the many, not the few. Cash strapped Local Authorities are left to try to address the issues raised by social and economic isolation with  supported/subsidised services and DRT (Direct Response Transport), but this is far from ideal.  We can learn a lot from Edinburgh’s Lothian Buses, which is recognised as the model of good practice throughout Europe. In Stirling Labour’s “Local Government” manifesto are commitments to a municipal bus company; I’ll help deliver on this promise from Westminster. Labour will reregulate the busses to ensure that commercial operators cannot cherry pick the routes that make the most money. Labour would extend public ownership to the railways; profits from Scotland’s trains should be put back into improving the service, not flowing into the pockets of shareholders.  Sometimes the solution to a transport problem is to take away the need to make a journey in the first place.   Stirling is embracing the digital economy as part of the City Region Deal.  We need to ensure Stirling’s workers are swept along by the digital revolution, not swept aside by it. I want all our kids to be able, if they choose, to enjoy life in our remarkable environment while working remotely for games companies in San Francisco or IT companies in Melbourne.  We need to encourage all employers to welcome flexible working from home;  it would help parents juggle childcare and it would ensure a decent work/life balance.  Transport solutions extend beyond public transport.  We need to do more to make cycling safer and more appealing.  We need to ensure paths within communities are of a standard to encourage walking.  We need to invest in our roads and in making cars safer and cleaner. As your MP I’ll do everything I can to help deliver ambitious and common senses solutions to many of our rural transport issues.” 

Read more in Scottish Labour’s manifesto here.

Chris Kane on HOUSING

The Stirling Observer has been running a series of statements from General Elections candidates on set topics.  Here’s what Chris Kane had to say on HOUSING:

IMGP9304 (1)“There is a housing crisis in Scotland.  With overcrowding and a lack of suitable accommodation for families and people with disabilities, Scotland not only needs more homes but more of the right homes.  It doesn’t have to be like this.  For Labour, housing is a social justice issue.  Housing costs can push many people into poverty.  Providing access to good quality, affordable and stable housing is a crucial factor in achieving the conditions necessary for equality of opportunity. A UK Labour government will oversee the most radical, and the largest, housebuilding programme since the war, investing to build over a million new homes across the country.  Labour will not only build more homes, we will build better homes.  We will insulate more homes to help people manage the cost of energy bills.  We will consult on new rules to prevent ‘rabbit hutch’ homes and on new modern standards for building zero carbon homes.  Labour would prioritise brownfield sites and protect the green belt.  Labour will guarantee ‘Help To Buy’ funding until 2027 to give long term certainty to both first time buyers and the housebuilding industry.  Labour will increase the number of affordable homes across all of Stirling’s communities.  We will also give local people buying their first home priority; you should have the option to live where you grew up, not priced out of the market by rising property prices. Labour would end insecurity for private renters by introducing controls on rent rises to protect tenants from rip-off rents.  Labour would consult on introducing a charter, similar to that in the social rent sector, to drive up standards in the private rental sector.  We will reverse the Tories cruel decision to abolish housing benefit for 18-21 year olds.  We will scrap the punitive ‘bedroom tax”.  Labour will always work to deliver skilled jobs, warm homes, caring communities and great schools.   A vote for Labour on Jun 8th is a vote for the many, not the few.” 

Read more in Scottish Labour’s manifesto here.

Labour’s Councillor Christine Simpson becomes Provost of Stirling

Stirling West Councillor Christine Simpson was today elected Provost of Stirling Council.  This was a unanimous appointment, supported by all political groups on the council.

Provost Simpson took the Chair and told the Chamber,

IMG_5297“I am very conscious of the great honour you have done me in electing me as Provost.  I want to pay tribute to my predecessors in this post and I hope I can live up to the high standards they have set.  I will do my best to be fair and balanced in this Chamber while promoting healthy debate.  I hope that in turn all Councillors will treat each other and our officers with respect.  These are challenging time and goodwill will be of great importance as we go forward.  Whatever the differences in our political parties nationally, we must always bear in mind that we are here to guide the future of our communities and to further the best interests of our constituents.  Thank you for giving me this opportunity.”

Labour agree deal with SNP To form Stirling Council Administration

The Labour Group on Stirling Council have been involved in extensive negotiations with the SNP Group on Stirling Council and have today announced that they will form a partnership agreement to form an Administration.  The agreement guarantees that all of Stirling Labour’s Local Government Manifesto has been adopted into a programme of local government for Stirling.

Commenting, Labour Group Leader Councillor Danny Gibson says,

IMGP9286 (1)“After extensive conversations with local party members, we all agree that Stirling works best when Labour are in Administration.  We’ve ensured that our entire Local Government Manifesto has been adopted by the new Partnership Administration and we will be working hard to ensure Labour values are at the heart of Stirling’s future.  We will oppose austerity at every turn.  We will tackle poverty in its many guises.  We will fight hard to ensure Local Government is properly funded.  We will never support compulsory redundancies.  We will deliver more homes.  We will realise the full potential of the City Region Deal.  Whilst there is much that we disagree with the SNP on at a national level, there is much that we can achieve together locally that will ensure that Stirling works for the many, not the few.” 

Scottish Labour Choose Chris Kane as Candidate

Scottish Labour have chosen Chris Kane to be their candidate in the General Election for the Stirling Constituency. Chris was born in the constituency and has lived here all his life.  A local businessman and Stirling Councillor, Chris stays in Stirling with his wife and young children.

Commenting on his selection, Chris says,

IMGP9304 (1)“It’s a huge honour to be selected as Labour candidate at the General Election for the constituency where I was born and have lived all my life. The next few weeks are important for the future of both Scotland and the U.K. As the Labour candidate, I will be working hard to take my campaign around the Stirling constituency.”

Thursday 4 May is Stirling Council Election Day

Read our Manifesto For Stirling and you’ll see Labour have a vision for Stirling’s future and a track record of success.

Vote Labour to protect the local services – from schools, care services, paths, parks, roads and more – that touch our daily lives.

We need local Labour champions who will drive Stirling forward.

Stirling deserves better than SNP candidates who won’t even stand up to their own party and the damage the SNP Government are doing to local services.  Stirling Council’s budget has been CUT by £2.6 million this year by Nicola Sturgeon.

Stirling deserves better than Tory candidates who are following an increasingly right wing austerity agenda.  Send a message to the Tories that Scotland is shamed by the Rape Clause they’ve introduced.

Vote Labour and you’re voting for a plan to build hundreds more social homes across Stirling’s communities over the next four years.

Vote Labour for a municipal energy company to help tackle fuel poverty and ensure communities retain profits.

Vote Labour to help re-regulate busses to ensure they run to community not commercial priorities.

Vote for local Labour champions on May 4th