THE Glasgow Provan seat was created after boundaries were redrawn 10 years ago.

It is one of the seats that the SNP took from Labour in 2016 completing its takeover of all the city’s Holyrood constituencies.

Ivan McKee is defending the second smallest majority in the city but still had a lead of almost 5000 votes over Labour in 2016.

The area takes in East End communities like Easterhouse, Carntyne, Ruchazie, Dennistoun and Robroyston.

It is home to some of the areas in the city with the highest levels of deprivation and also many community groups working to improve lives in the area.

The Ruchazie Food Pantry has been growing since it opened last year to now having 1500 members and 34 volunteers.

The pantry allows members to access fresh food at affordable prices  depending on availability.

Tina Blakely-Dale, Pantry manager explained how it works.

She said: “Members apply to join, it costs £2. There are no barriers to joining on postcode or status. They then can then choose from items and can pay £2.50 for £15  worth of food or £5 for £30 worth.”

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She said the number of items people can buy depends on stock, to ensure as many people as possible get access.

Ms Blakely-Dale added: “We also offer financial support through Citizens Advice Scotland and help with things like fuel payments.”

The Pantry is also looking to acquire nearby land for allotments to let local people grow their own food.

There are grassroots organisations like FARE in Easter-house who have been operating since 1989, offering a variety of opportunities including cookery classes, kids arts, crafts and sports clubs  and training programmes with recognised qualifications.

Provan also takes in areas with more affluence, like new build housing estates in Robroyston to the north and places that have seen a revival in recent years, like the tenemented streets of Dennistoun, recently voted as the “8th coolest place to live in the world” to the west of the seat.

Perhaps an overstatement, as many local people pointed out, but nonetheless a sign of  a community going though some changes that are attracting interest.

There are five candidates standing in Provan representing the SNP, Labour Conservatives, Greens and Liberal Democrats.

We asked the Provan candidates in the election to say why they deserve  to be elected.

Ivan McKee, SNP, said: “It has been an honour to represent the people of Glasgow Provan for the past 5 years. Over that time I have directly helped thousands of constituents and worked with many community groups doing great work across the constituency – particularly during the pandemic.

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“I am particularly proud of my work to save Lightburn Hospital, to secure investment for Whitehill Pool, and to help local businesses expand and create jobs.

“Across Provan we can see the result of the SNP government’s house building program and if re-elected we will build another 100,000 affordable homes across Scotland.

“The SNP will invest in our NHS with a 20% increase in funding, a 4% pay rise for NHS staff and setting up of a National Care Service. Free school meals for all primary school pupils and digital devices for all pupils will further close the attainment gap, and our Youth Guarantee will ensure that all our young people can maximise their potential with a job or a place in training or education.

To ensure our recovery is investment led, and avoids future UK Tory austerity, I am committed to allowing the people of Scotland to decide their future in an independence referendum.”

Martin McElroy, Labour: “The choice we face is pretty simple, either we focus on our national recovery from COVID-19, or we can go back to the arguments of the past.

“For the next 5 years, my focus will be on getting a fair deal for our community and our city. Since the SNP were elected 14 years ago, Glasgow has had our budget cut every single year. Is it any wonder that communities across the constituency are suffering? 3 weekly bin collections, trebling nursery fees, care home death scandal, libraries and community facilities under threat of closure. “The SNP record in Glasgow is shameful.

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“We can do better. By using your votes for Labour, we will elect MSPs who will be 100% focussed on our national recovery.

“Let’s vote for a guaranteed job or training for every young Scot, let’s scrap the council tax, let’s end the drug death crisis, and let’s build 200,000 affordable homes. Glasgow deserves better.”

Annie Wells, Conservatives: “I have a crystal-clear message to voters across Glasgow Provan: cast both of your votes for the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party to deny the SNP a majority government, bin indyref2 plans and focus on rebuilding Scotland.

“Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP have made it no secret they want to hold a second independence referendum in the recovery stage of the next Scottish Parliament – even flirting with the idea of launching an all-out court battle with the UK Government to satisfy their reckless obsession.

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“This would tear our society apart and crush our economic recovery, at a time when we must unite.

“With the next Scottish Parliament’s eye off the ball, endlessly squabbling over a referendum, vital day-to-day issues will continue to be ignored.

“You only have to look across Glasgow, from our cleansing crisis to libraries closing down, to see first-hand how SNP council cuts are running our city into the ground.

“Glaswegians deserve better – but this election is on a knife edge.

“That’s why it is vital pro-UK voters across Glasgow Provan unite around the Scottish Conservatives on the party list vote, peach coloured ballot, to deny the SNP a majority government.”

Kim Long Scottish Greens: “I’m a community worker and carer, and in 2017 I was elected as the first Scottish Greens local Councillor in the north east. I’ve protected local services, like working with the community and in the council for £1million of investment to Save Whitehill Pool.

“I’ve supported the community to have their say, like chasing off a recent proposal by Starbucks. “And I led a groundbreaking campaign which prevented a resident being deported. I’m proud of my track record, and it would be an honour to keep fighting for and with this community in the Scottish Parliament.

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“This pandemic has to be a turning point. We already had huge poverty and inequality in our city, and covid has made them worse. If we don’t act now, the climate crisis will make those inequalities even greater. This election, we need to be bold and vote to build a fairer, greener Scotland.  

“Scottish Greens have fully costed plans for a green recovery - to invest in warm homes, in renewable energy and public transport and to create 100,000 good green jobs. That’s why on 6th May I’m asking you to vote like our future depends on it - vote Scottish Greens.”

Nicholas Moohan. LibDems

The LibDems said: “Nicholas was born in Govan, in 1971, the second of six children. 

“He has two children, a boy and a girl, aged 16 and 17 and echoes their call for immediate change to tackle the Climate Emergency. 

 He is very keen that the Lib Dems push on relentlessly for the truth from the Public Inquiry on Coronavirus and it’s handling. 

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“He stood as the candidate for Glasgow North East in 2019 and is immensely enjoying  campaigning in Glasgow Provan. 

“Nicholas says that ‘Recovery must come first.’ We can move forward in Unity from the Pandemic in Glasgow and Scotland to better times.”