Gillian Cole-Hamilton (Scottish Liberal Democrats)

Who is she?

Liberal Democrat candidate for Dunfermline and West Fife.

Gillian is married with a son. She's from Dalkeith and lives in Edinburgh.

Working life:

She has been a teacher in the capital for 15 years.

She studied French and German at the University of Aberdeen and also spent some time living in Grenoble, France and Cologne, Germany.

As a student, Gillian helped to organise a convoy of educational aid to Kosovo. 

In Kosovo, Gillian stayed in the house of a teacher who had been forced to teach 'underground' as the Muslim children living in Kosovo were denied the right to education. She was also active in the campaign fighting against the introduction of Tuition Fees for students. 

It was during this campaign that Gillian became more interested in the Liberal Democrat party.

Scottish Liberal Democrats election pledges:

  • To balance the budget by cutting less than the Conservatives and spending less than Labour or the SNP. 

  • To Increase tax-free allowance to £12,500, and increase tax on high earners. 

  • To spend £2.5 billion to guarantee education funding from nursery to age 19 and to ensure a qualified teacher is in every class. 

  • To increase NHS focus on mental health issues and invest £8 billion in the health service. 

  • New laws to tackle climate change and help wildlife.

About Dunfermline & West Fife

Dunfermline is officially the second largest settlement in Fife, though some estimates say the town could have more than 50,000 residents, which would make it larger than Kirkcaldy.

Locals consider it a city due to Dunfermline Abbey, which contains the body of King Robert The Bruce.

The only other towns in the constituency are Rosyth, which is heavily reliant on the ship-building industry, and Inverkeithing. The rest is made up of smaller villages such as Blairhall, Cairneyhill, Crossgates, Culross, Oakley, Saline and Valleyfield.

Coal mining used to be the principal employer in the constituency until the industry's collapse in the 1980's, many jobs in the area now come from call centres for major businesses like BSkyB, Lloyds and Nationwide, as well as the large Amazon fulfillment centre.

Philanthropist Andrew Carnegie is from the area, and donated Pittencrieff Park to the community in 1903. Mr Carnegie donated around 90% of his $350 million fortune to good causes, that's around £4.76 billion in today's money. Numerous parts of Dunfermline are named after him.

The town is home to Dunfermline Athletic Football Club, who play in the SPFL League One, after years in the top division.

Appin Crecent, which leads to Dunfermline centre, Edinburgh, and Stirling east bound, and the rest of Fife west bound, has some of the highest recorded levels of air pollution in Scotland.

Peacocks and peahens have had the freedom of Dunfermline since the 1900's, and Pittencrief Park, or The Glen, is now home to a peafowl sanctuary.

The constituency has been a traditional Labour seat, though the Liberal Democrat's Willie Rennie won a by-election for the seat in 2006 following the death of Rachael Squire. He later lost to incumbent Thomas Docherty. Mr Docherty is defending a majority of 5,470, the smallest margin of victory in Fife in 2010.

The SNP took Dunfermline in the 2010 Scottish Parliament election, but then lost the seat in a by-election to Labour's Cara Hilton in 2013 after MSP Bill Walker resigned following a 12-month conviction for a string of historic domestic assaults.

The main constituency issues - in her opinion:

Gillian is yet to respond to our requests for interview.

Who else is standing here:

Douglas Chapman, SNP

James Reekie, Scottish Conservatives

Lewis Campbell, Scottish Greens

Thomas Docherty, Scottish Labour

Why Gillian Cole-Hamilton thinks you should vote for her:

Gillian is yet to respond to our requests for interview.