POLITICIANS in the Glasgow Central Constituency should be “open and honest” according to voters who feel their next MP should be “approachable and supportive”. 

The area, which includes the north of Glasgow City Centre, with Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Glasgow Cathedral and the SEC, is home to Strathclyde and Caledonian Universities, as well as the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

The constituency sits across the River Clyde, and incorporates the areas of Kelvingrove, Anderston, Merchant City, Calton, Pollokshields, Gorbals and Govanhill.

In 2015 Labour lost its seat, which it had held since 1950, to SNP Alison Thewliss, who was re-elected in 2017.

Raza Sadiq, who founded the Active Life Club in Govanhill in 1999, believes that politicians need to stop blaming one another for the homelessness and the food bank crisis. 

He said: “There are too many people living on the street. A lot of people are surviving on food banks. 

“The politicians blame each other for this but this has been going on for years. They are responsible for implementing change. We need to be able to question politicians and hold them to account.”

While people in the community encounter daily struggles, the Citizen’s Advice Bureau has continued to provide free, confidential and impartial advice to those who need it. 

Glasgow Times:

READ MORE: General Election 2019 battlegrounds: Everything to know for Glasgow North East

From 2018-2019, Glasgow Central’s CAB gave advice 17,276 times to 5712 clients. They provided assistance to those having problem with benefits and debt 7933 and 3642 times respectively.

Vincent Chudy, Glasgow Central CAB manager, said: “The most prevalent issues we deal with include helping people on benefits, assisting those who have multiple debt, and providing information on general legal matters.

“Recently we have been dealing with more immigrant inquiries. This is a specialist subject. We have been helping asylum seekers and those applying for the right to work.”

In the Glasgow Central Constituency, CAB workers deal with more inquiries from people living in Govanhill and the surrounding areas. 

They also help a range of age groups from 18-years-old to 65 plus. People who turn to CAB for assistance tend to be in the 45-59 age group with 28 per cent attending their local bureau compared to seven per cent of those aged 65+.

Mr Chudy went on: “We tend to offer more advice to those in the 45-59 age range category as they have a high level of credit. 

“They have developed relationships and young families. They may have employment issues or be unemployed. 

“Helping people in the 18-24 age range is very low. Because most of them are living with their parents they aren’t as likely to have employment or relationship issues.

“By the time people become 60-64-years-old they have retired and don’t tend to experience the same problems. 

“The change in the benefit system has also caused a problem for many people who don’t understand how Universal Credit works. We have staff dedicated to helping those on Universal Credit.” 

Glasgow Times: Glasgow Central constituencyGlasgow Central constituency

READ MORE: General Election 2019 battlegrounds: Everything to know for Glasgow North West

SNP candidate Alison Thewliss, who is hoping to re-claim her seat, says that she will continue to stand up for the people of Glasgow Central. 

Ms Thewliss became the MP for the area in 2015 and was re-elected in 2017. She wants to put her people first. 

She said: “A vote for me in this election is a vote to escape Brexit, escape the Tories, and put Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands.

“If re-elected, I will continue to stand up for the people of Glasgow Central.

“I will continue to fight against Scotland being dragged out of the EU against its will, alongside my SNP MP colleagues.

“I will continue to work hard to put an end to callous Tory welfare cuts, including the two-child cap and rape clause. No woman should have to prove they were raped to receive tax credits.

“And I will continue to call for tighter restrictions on the sales of fireworks so that the people of Glasgow Central can feel safer.”

Ms Thewliss took over from Labour’s Anas Sawar, who served the constituency from 2010-2015 after succeeding his father Mohammad Sarwar who represented the area from 1997. 

In 2017, Labour tried to win their seat back but candidate Faten Hameed only secured 13,829, compared to Alison Thewliss with 16,096.

Ms Hameed is standing for election again as a “proud Labour woman, a proud Scot and a proud socialist”. 

She said: “Glasgow gave me a safe home for me and my children and it would be a privilege to serve the city that I love.

“Around 48 per cent of the children in this constituency live in poverty. This breaks my heart and should shame the SNP First Minster and the Tory Prime Minister.

READ MORE: General Election 2019 battlegrounds: Everything to know for Glasgow North

“As a widow with three children I know how hard it is to get by in austerity-hit Britain and Scotland. 

“This is why I am so dedicated to ending the cuts and bringing about real change for Glasgow Central.

“The people of Scotland and the people of Glasgow Central have a clear choice on December 12.

“Do we continue with the Tory-SNP focus on the constitution and cuts, or do we act to rescue our public services, rebalance our economy and transform the lives of working people?

“I call on the people of Glasgow Central to place their faith in me and allow us to bring about the real and lasting change this constituency and this nation needs.”

Meet the candidates: 

Alison Thewliss, SNP
“I will continue to demand Supervised Drug Consumption Facilities be implemented to save lives in Glasgow and across Scotland.

"The number of drug deaths in Glasgow is heart-breaking – the UK government desperately need to take an evidence-based approach to drugs policy.”

 Faten Hameed, Labour
“Only the Labour Party can begin to heal this country and bring an end to scourge of Tory austerity, and only the Labour Party have the bold transformative agenda that can rebalance our society in favour of the many.”

Elaine Gallagher, Green 
“Since the financial crash, wages have fallen in real terms and austerity has gutted social services.

"At the same time rent-seeking billionaires and tax-avoiding corporations have stripped the economy. We have to meet the climate emergency with major changes to the economy.”

Ewan Hoyle, LibDems
“My past experience of chronic fatigue has given me first-hand insights into the problems faced by benefit claimants with invisible conditions.

"I work in some of the most deprived communities and witnessed daily the difficulties people face.”

Flora Scarabello, Conservative
“We need government at all levels to roll up its sleeves and get on with solving the problems of the country: that means no more referendums, no more phoney outrage, and no more mismanagement. Vote for the only commonsense party left – Conservative.”