They have not been hitting front pages as of late (one or two things have been competing for column inches), but that doesn’t mean we at newsdirect have forgotten about our local councillors.
It is of course important not to forget about local government, where interesting stuff is happening all the time. The SNP group at Glasgow City Council has just confirmed said that it will conduct an independent “root and branch” review of governance procedures following the local elections in May 2017. Edinburgh City Council is facing an independent inquiry into the recent school closures, while grappling with a significant restructure. While across the country no one can say what a post-EU referendum world means for Local Government funding. This was an issue on the minds of representatives from the UK government and Shetland, Orkney and Western Isles Councils at the recent Islands Summit (incidentally the Faroese would like to come next time, thanks).
Summer for some might mean long evenings and sandy beaches, but for our crack team of reporters it means it’s time again to get the fine tooth comb out and spend some time getting up close and personal with by-election results, ruling groups and leadership, executive and committee appointments for the latest update of our councillors contact spreadsheet.
Putting together and updating contact information for every Scottish councillor (all 1,223 of them) is not a job everyone might relish, but it is not without its silver linings. When it comes to truly niche pub quiz trivia gathering opportunities, this is a task that delivers. Highlights include checking in with Aberdeen City Labour Councillor, Len Ironside, who is of course better known to most from his wrestling days, and getting reacquainted with Biker Jim and his impressive beard (otherwise known as East Ayrshire’s Provost). It is also, we feel important, to keep a close eye on Natalie McGarry’s cross-party husband, Conservative Councillor for Pollokshields, David Meikle, who in his spare time found fame as the Balustrade Lanyard.
Perhaps inevitably, becoming so invested in the comings and goings of councillors comes with rewarding highs, but also punishing lows. We Bake-off fans were disappointed to see Norman Calder fail to rise (sorry) to victory at a Moray Council by-election, and recently waved farewell to Scotland’s last elected Communist as Willie Clark stood down from Fife Council.
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