Sunday, June 17, 2007

It's strange how life turns around. On the up side in Sighthill Gorgie we defied the trend and returned two Councillors for Labour. Andrew Burns was elected for Fountainbridge Craiglockhart and Sarah Boyack won Edinburgh Central for the Parliament.

On the down side Labour had been conspired against and lost power in spite of being the second largest party in the Council. Oh well, that's STV for you. Fairer in one way (more votes counting) and grossly unfair in another (parties with fewer Councillors having more decision making power).

To my surprise however I was honoured to be made a Bailie (no- it's not a spelling mistake - it's two 'l's for Glasgow and one 'l' for Edinburgh) in the new Council.

This is a civic post which supports the Lord Provost. It comes with a Chain of Office - see photo. I have always seen it as part of my duty to attend civic ceremonies and this has apparently been noted.
So far I have attended several major events including the Adult Learners' Week Awards and Scotland's Gardens. The Adult Learners' Week Awards was a particularly appropriate one for me to do as in addition to the civic welcome I was asked to present the 'John Smith Award' at the end of the evening. The excitement was added to by the fact that the winners who were sitting at my table were completely unaware that they had won! i showed masterful restraint and didn't so much as drop a clue until I went up onto the stage to announce it. The winners were 3TFM, a community radio station broadcasting to the three towns of Ardrossan, Saltcoats and Stevenson with an emphasis on health. Following an intensive learning program they successfully broadcast live for 28 days providing 672 hours of music and content having trained 150 volunteers and 30 live presenters and studio crew. Over the past year they have organised national conferences , delivered keynote addresses and helped new community radio stations. Worthy winners.
I also got the opportunity to say a few words about John Smith in whose memory the award was being presented. I knew John only slightly but counted myself privileged to have done so.
At any rate I am very pleased and would thank the Council for the appointment as Bailie.