The by-election in Denny and Banknock on the 13th of August 2015 marked a historic moment in the history of the Green Party in Falkirk as residents of the ward were given the chance to vote for a Green candidate for the very first time. The appearance of the Scottish Green Party on the ballot paper demonstrate a real appetite for local progressive politics which has the environment at its core and a need for an alternative to failed politics of the current Labour / Conservative council in Falkirk District.
The by-election provided the Falkirk Green Party the first opportunity to talk about the issues that the other parties are still unclear on, whilst introducing our party on to the political scene in Falkirk. Our candidate Brian Capaloff lead an extremely professional and well conducted campaign in which he took to the streets to campaign for a complete ban on fracking, improved transport links and the renationalisation of the railways as well as highlighting the need for a Citizen’s Income.
Although the seat was taken by Paul Garner and the SNP, fundamental Green policies were at the forefront of his and the other candidates election campaigns. Writing in the Falkirk Herald both SNP and Labour claimed to "hold the key" to preventing fracking from happening in the Forth Valley. A seasoned campaigner, Mr Garner has shown strong a personal commitment to halting the controversial process of fracking and underground coalbed gasification. However his party are still yet to make a clear stance against the process and do not share the same amount of commitment as their candidate in Denny and Banknock with Energy minister Fergus Ewing still being remembered for failing to rule out fracking in Scotland.
With the Scottish Government’s position still unknown, fracking looks to be a major focal point for future elections in Falkirk District until a decision is finally made. Brian and the Falkirk Greens were the only party standing in the election to have a clear position on fracking and UCG and will continue to campaign for a complete ban by running a stall every Saturday, hosting public meetings and producing accessible and relevant information to help raise awareness of local issues. It has never been as clear that Falkirk council is need of a strong green voice and one that has the full support of their party. The Falkirk Green Party has arrived!
I would like to thank everyone who voted Green at the by-election, it is now our job in Denny and Banknock to ensure that the winning candidate uses his new new position within the council to continue his campaign against fracking and UCG whilst continuing our own campaign in the area.