Kilwinning's council candidates put their policies before the public in the local election hustings ahead of the upcoming vote on May 4.

The evening was organised by Kilwinning Community Council with community councillor Blair Kerr hosting the hustings held in Kilwinning Bowling Club.

Each candidate gave a two-minute opening statement and one-minute closing statement, a minute to answer questions with a 30-second rebuttal when appropriate.

The debate and questions were purely to focus on local issues relating to the council and there would be no discussion of the constitution or independence, to the relief of many in attendance.

Over the evening candidates debated the PFI/PPP contracts costing North Ayrshire Council tax payers, 20 miles per hour limits, youth unemployment, energy, community wardens, libraries, Labour’s ‘ambitious’ manifesto and education.

Labour candidate Joe Cullinane said: “Over the last five years I’ve been in involved in a number of campaigns on a number of issues, such as campaigning for Kilwinning Academy, campaigning against bus cuts and supporting the credit union up the main street.

“Over the past seven months I’ve had the privilege of being the council leader and really proud to have lead a Labour administration that has done some really good things like increase the council house building programme and a really bold anti-austerity budget.”

SNP candidate Scott Davidson, spoke of his pride in serving the people of Kilwinning as a firefighter over the years, and said: “If you elect myself and my colleague we’ll deliver the Ayrshire Growth Deal, improve early years learning and use extra Scottish Government Funding for Kilwinning schools’ attainment.”

Scottish Conservative and Unionist candidate John Glover said: “I have studied and walked every road in Kilwinning and my biggest thing is the centre of the town needs parking and a traffic management system and I would like to discuss that further tonight.

UKIP candidate Matthew Grainger said he hoped to speak up for the unrepresented 43 per cent people locally who voted ‘to take back control’ last year.

He added: “North Ayrshire Council is currently £226 million in debt, I’ve looked at all the other candidates websites or manifestos, it’s never mentioned.”

SNP candidate Susan Johnson said: “If elected the SNP will support Kilwinning by investing £4 million pounds in joint working with our locality partnerships.

“Working in partnership with the SNP government in Edinburgh, the SNP wants to build a better brighter future for Kilwinning. If elected as a councillor I will treat my constituents with the respect they deserve and put my experience and skills to work for Kilwinning."

Scottish Green candidate Yvonne McLellan said she’s looking to be elected as area’s first green councillor and spoke of her great pride in the town.

She said: “Kilwinning’s my home, it’s where I live, where I work, it’s where I raise my children and it’s the place that I love. We’ve got a great town, full of great community groups different local businesses.

“Kilwinning needs investment in the local economy and more investment in schools. We need quality jobs to help the poverty a lot of us are suffering. We need education protected from overcentralisation and over-testing.”

Labour candidate Donald Reid said: “I’m looking for your support to continue in a job I actually really enjoy. I am not a fulltime politician, I’m a politician with a small p, because I put you the community always first.

"Everything I try and do is for Kilwinning’s benefit as a whole. I always hear the arguments Blacklands gets this, Pennyburn get’s that, I try and have it that Kilwinning gets what it deserves.”