Paul did an interview with Clydebanklive.co.uk a new local online news source. The article can be found below.
The Liberal Democrats have endured a difficult time lately. The state of the party is so low they decided not to put up even a single candidate in Clydebank. But it is a different story on the other side of the boundary.
Paul McGarry is hoping to oust one of the four Labour councillors currently representing Drumchapel. The party’s campaign slogan is ‘Creating a fairer Glasgow’ and 27-year-old McGarry is highly focused on the needs of his home district and the wider city.
He told Clydebank Live: “As a youth worker I saw first hand how having an active councillor could make a big difference to an area. As a representative of a community a hard-working councillor can get a lot of things done.
“Some areas really benefit from the efforts of their councillor but others miss out. Drumchapel hasn’t had the kind of active councillors it needs. I want to be an accessible, active representative for the community and get things done to make Drumchapel a better place for residents.
“Improving facilities in the area would be my number one priority. People here deserve better than what the Labour administration has given them. Drumchapel deserves more local facilities and services.
“One of the things I’d try to achieve is getting the next administration to give communities a playpark guarantee. These facilities cost a lot of money and are meant to give our children and families a place to go, but vandalism and anti-social behaviour often make parents think they’re unsafe.
“The Council should guarantee that any vandalism to our community play-parks will be fixed within 24 hours. It would allow families to use the facilities and help encourage our young people to live active, healthy lifestyles.”
Liberal Democrats have come under intense pressure from people unhappy with the decisions of the British Government. Nick Clegg may have led his party into government for the first time in 70 years, but joining the Conservatives provoked fury from many who lent him their support.
Much of the anger directed towards the Lib Dems may be unfair: The party owed Labour no loyalty. Assuming it should prop up a Labour Government rejected by the country is hard to justify. Yet criticism of the Lib Dems is far from unfounded.
After the Blair Government committed Britain to the Iraq War successive leaders positioned the party as the natural home for disaffected Labour voters. In allowing themselves to be seen as a centre-left alternative to New Labour, Liberal Democrats put electoral strategy above setting out a distinct position of their own.
Asked whether the record of the coalition is an obstacle to winning people’s trust, McGarry is clear: “I’ve chapped on more than a thousand doors and the reaction of the public has been largely positive. People know these are local elections and the question is what we can do for them.
“They want a councillor who interacts with the community, who can help sort issues with housing and other organisations. The Conservatives wouldn’t be my first choice of coalition partner but Liberal Democrats don’t make decisions based on what makes us comfortable. We’re here to make a difference and get the most we can for the people we represent.
“By joining with the Tories, Liberal Democrats managed to protect the most vulnerable people in the country. We raised the amount of money people can earn before they have to pay any income tax, helping working families and low paid workers. Labour didn’t do that in government and the Tories wouldn’t have if we weren’t in coalition.
“We delivered a pupil premium, secured pensions and will deliver 75 per cent of our manifesto. So when people ask what we can deliver they know we’ll work with anybody to get the most we can for our constituents.”
If Mr McGarry is elected it will mean the loss of at least one Labour seat. With the SNP opposition seeking to oust Labour as the city’s administration, many voters want to know how Liberal democrats would act in the event of no party winning a majority.
He explained: “As a point of principle we’ll do exactly what we do after UK and Scottish Parliament elections. The party that wins the most seats has the best mandate to try to form an administration.
“We’ll talk to whoever has the most councillors and see what we can deliver for Glasgow. If my colleagues and I are elected we’ll be truly local councillors, representing our local areas.
“We respect councillors’ mandate to take local decisions. Liberal Democrats believe in local democracy: We won’t be allowing higher levels of government – Holyrood or Westminster – to impose things on the city.”
You can find the article by following this link http://www.clydebanklive.co.uk/a-liberal-for-drumchapel/