A Helensburgh councillor has been announced as a Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate to contest the Dumbarton seat in May.

Helensburgh Central councillor Aileen Morton will be the candidate hoping to unseat incumbent Labour MSP Jackie Baillie on May.

Leven councillor Gail Robertson is contesting the seat for the SNP, along with Scottish Conservatives candidate Cllr Maurice Corry, and independent Andrew Muir.

Born in the Vale of Leven, Cllr Morton has lived in Helensburgh most of her life and has worked for a number of local businesses.

She currently represents Helensburgh Central, and is Argyll and Bute Council's policy lead for sustainable economic growth.

She told the Advertiser this election is about protecting and improving public services.

Cllr Morton said: “The serious cuts to services at the Vale of Leven Hospital are totally unacceptable.

"They are indicative of the Scottish Government’s disregard of the views of local people."

She said her priorities for Dumbarton area was to improve access to education, and have more accountability in policing.

Cllr Morton previously threw her hat in the ring for a Holyrood seat by being named on the Scottish Liberal Democrats' list behind Katy Gordon to represent the West of Scotland region.

Cllr Morton said: "I am pleased to be the Lib Dem candidate for Dumbarton constituency.

"My priorities for this area are to see improved access to education as well as delivering more accountability in local policing and improving performances in hospital services.

“Local services have suffered due to on-going spending freezes.

"The Scottish Government has cut local council funding significantly during its time in office.

"It’s time to use the financial powers of the parliament to reverse this trend.”

Scottish Liberal Democrats have proposed a one per cent increase in Income Tax, which they say would help protect education spending, boost investment in childcare, and target funding to the most disadvantaged pupils.

In addition to Aileen in Dumbarton, local Lib Dems are backing their lead regional list candidate Katy Gordon.

Katy has been campaigning across the West of Scotland for many years. She is employed as Head of the Careers Service at Strathclyde University.

She told the Advertiser: “Under this Government, we have seen a decline in college places as well as a narrowing of opportunities for young people. Reversing this trend will take an increased government focus as well as investment."

She said the SNP's council tax freeze had "harmed the life chances of young people". She also said there were problems with accountability in policing, and missed waiting times in hospitals.

She added: “More and more local people are backing the Liberal Democrats and several recent opinion polls show we are on target to win a regional list seat in the West of Scotland."