It’s one year since I got elected as an Edinburgh Councillor in what the Evening News’ political correspondent Ian Swanson said was a “shock” result – I had been predicated to come fourth! Indeed, I got elected despite my own party’s guidance saying I had no chance!
I still find it a huge privilege to have been elected to represent the community I live in and find it humbling every time a constituent asks me for help. Every day when I cycle to work from Buckstone and on through Oxgangs and Colinton I can see the impact working with local people has had over the past year.
Yes, I’ve spent a lot of time getting potholes filled, street lights fixed and bins emptied. Keeping our streets clear of litter, snow, weeds & leaves has also become a bit of an obsession. However, I focus on these “small” things so much as I feel first impressions count – the impact of getting them right is significant.
In addition to this work in the community, I am also hugely proud that my motion to the Children & Families Committee means that the School Clothing Grant for the most vulnerable households will soon almost double. I also know that my opposition to cuts to our libraries means that there will be no reduction in opening hours.
Like any politician, I let people know about the things I have been doing in the community. Much of the most important work, however, can’t be spoken about in detail. This ranges from making sure a mum gets the support she needs to support her gravely ill son to trying to get a woman out of hospital to spend her final days at home and helping people who have fallen victim of Edinburgh’s chronic housing crisis.
It’s been a big year for me in which I’ve made a load of mistakes, but I also hope I’ve manged to make a difference. People that know me will say I’m quite political, but I hope everyone in my Ward agrees that I put the community I represent before party politics every single time!