Council leader among five Labour councillors not seeking re-election

Council leader Craig Martin, right, with Secretary of State Alistair Carmichael and John Swinney MSP discussing future of Ineos
Council leader Craig Martin, right, with Secretary of State Alistair Carmichael and John Swinney MSP discussing future of Ineos

The leader of Falkirk Council has announced he is to stand down to devote more time to his family and his employers.

Craig Martin is one of six current Labour councillors who have announced they will not be seeking reselection to stand in next May’s local government elections.

Councillor Martin, who has spent 20 years in local politics, currently represents the Carse, Kinnaird and Tryst ward.

He has been the council leader for the last seven years and said during this time he has had to deliver some very difficult budget decisions, leading to “emotional stress”.

The father-of-three, whose son Craig is also a Falkirk councillor, said: “Four years ago I promised my wife and family that 2012 would be my last term and that I would spend more time with them.

“For the past 20 years, more years than I anticipated, it has been a great privilege to represent the area where I have lived and my family grew up in.

“In that time, I have delivered investment in local schools, play parks, housing, drainage and infrastructure to my local community.

“Nothing I have done in my life before, and I’m sure nothing that I will do with my life in the future, will match the hugely enriching local experiences I’ve had over those two decades.”

Mr Martin said he came into politics because he was frustrated by the lack of “care and attention” in the area where he lived.

He added: “I’ve realised now that you can’t always get what you want and at times that is frustrating but we’ve been able to deliver some great stuff in Airth, Carronshore and parts of Stenhousemuir.

“But now I believe that I need to be fair to my wife and family and spend more time with them. I also need to be fair to my employers Network Rail who have been very supportive in giving me unpaid leave to allow me to do my council duties.”

However, he said that he is leaving with a warning about what the future holds: “Unless the UK Government change from austerity or the Scottish Government don’t just pass the cuts on, there is worse to come for the Bairns of Falkirk.

His Labour colleagues not seeking reselection include his son Craig Martin, Gerry Goldie, Adrian Mahoney, Charles MacDonald and Rosie Murray.