People

‘I would like to hope my contribution over many years has improved people’s lives’

By Ian Marland at

Veteran Glasgow Kelvin MSP Sandra White is to stand down next year.

Sandra informed her local constituency association she will stand down at the 2021 Scottish Parliament election.

She said the decision had been taken after “long consideration”.

A member of the 1999 group elected when the Scottish Parliament reconvened, Sandra was first elected as a Glasgow regional member.

Sandra White MSP

Standing down: Glasgow Kelvin MSP Sandra White

She went on to win the Glasgow Kelvin seat in 2007 and to retain that seat in 2011 and again in 2015.

Prior to her election to Parliament, Sandra was an SNP councillor with Renfrewshire Council for 10 years.

She said: “I have been involved in frontline politics for the majority of my life, spending over three decades as an elected representative.

“I first became involved to fight for social justice and equality for all.

“I would like to hope that my contribution over these many years has delivered an improvement to people’s lives both locally and further afield.

‘Honour’

“It has been both a privilege and the honour of my life to represent the city that I grew up in, helping to shape a better future for the people who have been Glaswegians their whole lives and for those who have chosen to make Glasgow their home.

“Having been elected to all five sessions of our Parliament since it’s reconvening in 1999, this has given me the opportunity to sit on almost every committee either as an ordinary member, deputy convener or convener.

“Highlights have definitely included my election as the convener of the social security committee, which allowed me to oversee the creation of our own system, shaped to fit the needs of the people of Scotland while ensuring it had dignity and respect at its heart.

“The single greatest piece of work I directly oversaw was without doubt the Responsible Parking Bill, which was adopted by the Government in to their recent Transport Bill.

“This change in the law will have a direct impact in Glasgow Kelvin and across Scotland, making our streets safer for all.

Sandra White

‘The single greatest piece of work I directly oversaw was without doubt the Responsible Parking Bill’

“I would like to, once again, thank everyone involved in this process, with a special note to everyone at Guide Dogs for the Blind for the power of work they put in.”

Sandra said she would not be stepping back from causes close to her heart.

“Despite my departure from official politics, I will most certainly be continuing my support for the Palestinian people and other international causes where people face oppression and seek social justice – such as in Catalunya.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the unwavering support of my family and friends has been an enormous help over these many years of public service.

“To Mark, Christopher, Jennifer, my granddaughter Lola, and my late husband Davie, you have been my rock and I will never be able to thank you all enough.

“Likewise, the commitment and unstinting determination of the Glasgow Kelvin SNP activists who continually fought for my election, I may be biased but for my money they are the finest branch in Scotland and their support has been humbling.

‘It has been both a privilege and the honour of my life to represent the city that I grew up in, helping to shape a better future for the people who have been Glaswegians their whole lives and for those who have chosen to make Glasgow their home.

‘Having been elected to all five sessions of our Parliament since it’s reconvening in 1999, this has given me the opportunity to sit on almost every Committee either as an ordinary member, Deputy Convener or Convener’

Sandra White MSP

“The Kelvin activists are an example of how politics can transcend policy platforms into lifelong friendships.

“Fortunately for them (or unfortunately depending how you look at it!) they haven’t got rid of me quite yet.

“If anything I will have more time to dedicate to local activism and the continued march towards independence.

“Lastly I would like to take the opportunity to thank my staff.

“While the MSP is the known face of the constituency, without the huge volume of work my staff do I would not have been able to assist a fraction of the constituents I have over the years.

“Those constituents who have received assistance from my office will know that my team always go above and beyond for the people of Kelvin and I will never be able to thank them sufficiently for giving so much of themselves to this job.

“I am very lucky to have found staff who treat this job the way I do – as a privilege and not as a ‘normal’ job.”