“We’ve got a brilliant, diverse community here – everyone from retired miners to young families call Midlothian home, and my job is to fight hard for a better future for everyone.”
So says Kenny Young – the kind of politician who wears his heart on his sleeve. A local councillor, he was selected in March this year after the Labour incumbent, David Hamilton, announced he was standing down.
By his own admission Young finds council work “frustrating”, because of the Tory-led coalition government’s approach to local authorities over of the past five years.
“There is so much more that we want to do”, he says. “That’s what spurs me on to win this election. I want to see a Labour government in office, standing up for people in Midlothian, not sitting on the sidelines in opposition.”
Very much a local man, this is where Young was raised. He lives with his partner Rebecca, who is training to be a doctor.
Away from politics he tries as often as possible to take in a football match featuring Easthouses Lily of the East of Scotland league.
However it is getting “the best deal for Midlothian”, part of the Edinburgh commuter belt now mining has gone, which consumes him.
“One of the biggest issues that I am fighting hard on is to ensure that people have decent jobs”, especially young people.
“There is a big danger in allowing people to get used to not working when they should really be excited and motivated at the start of their working lives”, he says.
“By taxing the bankers’ bonuses Labour can afford to set up a scheme that will guarantee a job, training or apprenticeship for every single young person. That’s going to make a big difference in Midlothian and will build a better future for us all.”
Young says he has been “speaking to thousands of people” on the campaign trail in recent weeks. The one thing he has learned is that “people here don’t want to see five more years of the Tories.
“The choice is really clear – Labour government who will tax the £2m mansions to fund 1000 extra nurses for Scotland, guarantee a job, training or apprenticeship for our young people and ban exploitative zero-hours contracts, or five more years of the Tories.
“I’m working hard to make sure it’s Labour.”