The voters of Clydesdale certainly won’t be stuck for choice during next month’s South Lanarkshire Council election.
When the deadline for candidates for the May 4 poll closed last week, there were 31 of them standing for the total of 13 seats available across Clydesdale’s four council wards.
It is understood to be the largest ‘field’ in a local government election since the South Lanarkshire Council was formed just over twenty years ago.
Several parties are contesting all four wards, namely Scottish Labour, Scottish Conservatives, Scottish National Party, Scottish Liberal Democrats and the Scottish Green Party.
However, there are also to be several Independent candidates and the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) along with Solidarity will be fielding one candidate apiece across Clydesdale.
The Clydesdale West Ward, with Carluke/Law at its heart, is the area’s only four-seat ward.
There are eight candidates contesting these seats, namely Poppy Corbett (Scottish Conservatives), Lynsey Hamilton (Scottish Labour), Pat Lee (Tommy Sheridan/Solidarity/Hope Over Fear), Eileen Logan (Scottish Labour), Peter Meehan (Scottish Liberal Democrats), Mandy Meikle (Scottish Green Party), David Shearer (Scottish National Party) and Chris Travis (Scottish National Party).
In the Clydesdale North ward, where the main communities are Lanark and Forth, the three available seats are being contested by seven candidates.
The candidates are: Ed Archer (Independent), Ryan Docherty (Scottish Green Party), Richard Elliott-Lockhart (Scottish Conservatives), Ronald Logan (Independent), Julia Marrs (Scotttish National Party), Catherine McClymont (Scottish Labour Party) and Richard Mills (Scottish Liberal Democrats).
Clydesdale East, consisting of Biggar and much of the Upperward and Lowther Valley, is our most rural ward and it is being contested by a total of eight candidates: Alexander Allison (Scottish Conservatives), Bev Gauld (Independent), Mark Gordon (Scottish Liberal Democrats), George Hannah (Scottish Labour), Eric Holford (Scottish Conservatives), Ian McAllan (Scottish National Party), Andrew McCallum (Independent) and Janet Moxley (Scottish Green Party).
Finally, in Clyesdale South, covering the Douglas/Nethan Valleys area, no less than nine candidates are chasing the three seats.
The canidates contesting these seats are: Kaitey Blair (Scottish Liberal Democrats), Craig Dalzell (Scottish Green Party), George Greenshields (Scottish Labour), Mark Horsham (Scottish National Party), Janice Mackay (United Kingdom Independence Party), Colin McGavigan (Scottish Conservatives), Danny Meikle (Independent), Sandra Mills (Scottish National Party) and Gordon Muir (Scottish Labour).
There are a total of 64 seats on South Lanarkshire Council (three less than at the last election due to boundary changes since 2012) and the local authority, based in Hamilton, has been controlled by a Labour administration since its inception.
The political composition of the outgoing council was Labour 37, SNP 21, Conservatives 4, Independents 3, Lib-Dems 1 and Solidarity 1.