Monday, 27 August 2012

The Council is a Vortex

I have been an Edinburgh City Councillor for four months now and in that time I have discovered a vast world that gloriously reflects the past while promising a great future! 

Walking through the archway of the Courtyard and into the splendid Council Chambers off  Edinburgh's High Street it's hard not to be impressed by the sense of history and the "ghosts of councillors past" in the halls and stately rooms of the chambers.
But the past and the history disguises the energy, dedication and industry which currently goes on behind the doors in every nook and cranie of the building.  I have only discovered tiny parts of the building and I still get lost in the corridors but I am hugely impressed by the army of dedicated staff who work for the good of the city.
While we, the new councillors slowly learn how systems work, the staff both in the Chambers and in the council departments around the city seem to have infinite patient with our questions, our problems and our anxieties! 
People ask me how I'm enjoying the Council. The truth is The Council is a huge vortex of meetings, decisions, problems and issues all waiting to be sorted. A bit like the Church of Scotland, with which I am much more familiar, I do feel one could spend every waking hour of every day in meetings without sorting anything!  On the other hand it is amazing how a couple of phone calls or an e-mail in the right direction can change people's lives for the better.
The past four months have been an incredible adventure. I am hoping that once I know what I'm doing I can begin to make a difference to DrumBrae Gyle! Watch this space!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The best laid plans.....

Drumbrae Library Hub opened with a fanfare, a pipe band and a lot of back-slapping on Friday, 17th February 2012.  The Lord Provost, City Chief Executive, Leader of the Council, MSP and gaggle of assorted councillors and dignitaries were all in attendance.   The current administration were quick to tell us all that the building is on time and on budget and was delivered with and for the community.

It is indeed a wonderful building which will be a huge asset to our community. Having the West Neighbourhood Team in the area will be a benefit not only in bringing the workers closer to the people but in boosting sales at the local Scotmid store in the process.

The opening of the building and arrival of the Neighbourhood Team however, does not detract from the fact that these very same councillors opposed the building of the library when it was proposed as part of the Drumbrae Leisure Centre ten years ago and these same councillors closed and demolished the primary school just round the corner.

One of the Neighbourhood managers told me on Friday that they were very shocked and surprised by the number of very young children who are spending considerable lengths of time in the new library completely unsupervised by parents.  "We had no idea there was this level of "child neglect" in the area they said.  Well the staff at Drumbrae Primary School could have told them so.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Not only is there an election to be won but more importantly there is still a Gala to organise!
Arranging the Clermiston and Drumbrae Children's Gala Committee is a serious business!

Monday, 9 January 2012

Technology is not my favourite thing!

I have finally found out how this blooming blog spot works! (I think). I needed my teenage daughter to figure it out for me!  Although her exact words were "Mum, I don't want to be offensive but, who cares!" She may have a good point.  Still, I'm just pleased I've managed to master the technology. (well maybe master is a bit strong a word). I've managed to attempt the technology!

I do have a question: Is blogging and social networking in general not just a very good way of procrastinating about actually DOING something?
For example: Sorry I can't do the ironing, I'm blogging.
or     I won't go out on this cold windy night knocking on people's doors to plead with them for a vote.
        I'll just stay in a blog, twitter and whatever it is that facebookers do, inter-face, I s'pose!

Having said all that I have spent a lovely afternoon completely ignoring the myriad of household chores, Clermiston and Drumbrae Gala stuff and newspaper deliveries that I should be doing!
Social networking is socialising but without the tea and biscuits!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

First Sunday in Advent

Lit the first candle on the Advent Wreath this morning in church.
Had the Toy service for local children.
Sunday School worked on the Nativity service which will be on 18th December.
This year it's The Christian Nativity meets the Lion King.  I have to keep reminding the kids that we are in fact celebration the birth of Jesus not the birth of Simba!
This evening we have an ecumenical service with our friends from St Kentigern's followed by an advent discussion.

In between Church services I delivered leaflets and letters around North Gyle and Parkgrove.  It was so cold. Alison only lasted half an hour!
Anyone want to buy me some stamps?

Friday, 25 November 2011

Setting up the Blog and planning the weekend

So now I have a facebook page, a twitter account and a blog! 
All I need now is something to say and I'll be laughing.
Busy weekend ahead:

Saturday morning: Make the advent wreath, buy gifts for the St Andrew's Toy Service, try to look in on East Craigs Christmas Fair and get Alison to take some photos of me out and about, particularly by the "temporary" bus-stop on Drumbrae Drive.
Saturday afternoon: envelope stuffing at the Hinds. (memo to self: remember the envelopes!)

Sunday morning: Toy service - children's rehearsals for christmas nativity.
Sunday afternoon: brave the elements to deliver papers and questionnaires in Drumbrae/Clermiston
Evening : Strictly and X Factor results shows!