Thursday, September 28, 2006

Anti Social Behaviour

Large, local meeting last night at Carrickvale Community Centre, organised by Sarah Boyack. Cathy Jamieson and Sheila Gilmore were also speakers. Main topic of debate was anti-social behaviour, which has been a big issue in the Hutchison and Stenhouse areas recently - with a very small minority causing real problems for the large majority.

It was pretty obvious at the meeting that most people do actually recognise there has been significant support, in terms of legislation, on these issues from the government. They also know that the Police are working as hard as they can to help. But it was also equally clear that a lot more co-ordination needs to happen between the various agencies - Council, Police and others.

A lot of people in attendance and passions running quite high.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Consultative Committee with Parents

First 'chairing' of the consultative committee with parents this evening. Very 'big' round-table meeting - did wonder if there were too many individuals to make if effective to be honest.

But despite that concern, plenty of good debate on several important issues ... with the most heated (and interesting) deabte on the major risk factors that primarily affect young people in Edinburgh. Point of argument wasn't about what the factors were - drugs, alcohol, lack of parenting - but more about how much emphasis we should all put on problems that affect the minority?

Monday, September 25, 2006

Visit to Portobello High School this afternoon

Out to Portobello High School this afternoon. Good to visit the school, and meet several of the Management Team, before we get to next week's public meetings. Everyone seems pretty keen to see a decision made and real progress with a replacement school ...

As well as the public meetings over the next couple of weeks, the consultation report is going to the relevant Scrutiny Panel this coming Thursday.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Shelving, shelving, shelving ...

Completely re-shelving a whole section of the living room today - I just love DIY ;-((

Only just got started really, spending far too long buying all the materials etc. Anyhow, all such in place and just need to assemble now! Can't wait.
Big job - as you can now see ...

Friday, September 22, 2006

Endless meetings with officials and a night off!

All day, back-to-back meetings with officials today. Brain was a bit frazzled by the end ... head is spinning with endless, new information.

On the up-side, a night off this evening - first one this week - so out for a curry at a local restaurant ... very good!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Full Council Meeting

Full Council Meeting today - totally dominated (just for a change) by transport issues. I have to say, was a bit of a pleasure not be in the firing-line for once ;-))

Not one single Council Question and/or debate on anything to do with education ... what a contrast!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

One Wedding and a Christening

Wedding in Salsburgh (my home village in Lanarkshire) this afternoon and then on to Airdrie for reception.

Ricky and Tracy - the Happy Couple!

Really enjoyable, family occasion with all the usual ridiculous stories, reminiscing, beer and cigars --- excellent!

Just before the cigars ;-)

Had to make it back to Edinburgh this evening, as we need to get down to London tomorrow for a Christening on the other side of the family ... not going to get much sleep.

Not looking too bad in South London (on the way to the Christening) the morning after the night before!

Friday, September 15, 2006

ERS Scotland Planning Day

Planning day for the new ERS office in Scotland!

I've spent years campaigning for electoral reform ... just can't justify the outcomes that first-past-the-post throws up as a democrat ... so absolutely delighted to be involved in a planning event for the establishment of an Electoral Reform Society (ERS) office here in Edinburgh.

Main goal is to help ensure the successful use of STV-PR for the local government elections here in Scotland next May. Two members of staff in place, and probably at least two more to come.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Portobello, PPP2 and Leith

Council Executive (cabinet) meeting this morning. Four deputations concerning the proposals for the re-building of Portobello High School and St. John's Primary. Excellent contributions from all. Difficult decision coming up on this, but first ... a few weeks of public consultation, then back to the Full Council meeting in December.

This afternoon, visited the 'Education PPP2' team at their HQ ... given a very thorough briefing on all that's going on. Again, some very big decisions on the horizon.

And off to Leith this evening for a presentation ceremony at a local community Resource Centre ... enjoyable event and very friendly people.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Change in job!

Well, finally I have a change in job as from a few days ago - no longer the Councillor responsible for Transport in Edinburgh, but have moved to "Children and Families".

I am genuinely sorry to be moving on, especially having put absolutely everything into the last 5 years, but new Department is the biggest in the Council and I do see it as a good move.

So, next few months are going to be exceptionally busy getting to know the new brief, but I'm thoroughly looking forward to getting to grips with a whole set of new challenges.