Michael Needham for Leaderdale and Melrose.

Michael Needham lives in Galashiels and has lived most of his life in the Scottish Borders. He was a senior trade union shop steward for 6 years specialising in anti-discrimination and supporting disabled employees. He has spoken in front of thousands at GMB trade union congress about environmental and social justice issues. He was involved in a high profile campaign on making β€œfire and re-hire” an illegal practice. Michael is also an author.

He is concerned about the high cost of living crisis, together with the Borders having one of the lowest average wages in Scotland and would push local employers to offer the living wage.

Michael feels that this election is a critical one, the importance of Scottish Borders having a Green voice is crucial in lots of ways, especially the climate emergency and the local council’s unambitious timeline of being net zero by 2045, worried that without local Green councillors he feels these issues will simply not be prioritised highly enough.

Within Leaderdale and Melrose ward, only Tweedbank residents have easy access to the rail network. He is concerned that due to Covid the current bus network is limited and unreliable with many services cancelled at short notice. We need better and easier access to reliable public transport, then fewer would need to rely on their own cars.

Local farmers need listened to and supported, we will work with them ensuring future food security.

Michael knows it has been a really tough few years and unfortunately that trend is likely to continue, therefore building a real community ethos is so important, ensuring there are things to do in our local area, that there are opportunities for us all to meet up in a safe and comfortable environment.