Friday, January 05, 2007

Weekly Director's Meeting

Really feels like I'm back in the regular work pattern now, with the Friday morning weekly meeting with the Director of Children and Families taking place as normal.

Budget issues still to the fore - we're back in front of the Budget review Group (BRG) this coming Wednesday, and that will be (I guess?) our final, formal pitch for a settlement figure before the actual revenue and capital budgets for 2007/08 are set on Thursday 8th February ... all not far away now!

It's all a bit of a dilemma for officers (in particular) and politicians this year, as we'll be setting a budget that will be 'picked up' by a new Administration - for certain. All due, of course, to the implementation of Single Transferable Vote (PR) for Scottish Local Government elections on May 3rd.

Now, despite my own best interests (or in spite of them!) I've always been a long-term supporter of PR ... I'm a Director of both the Electoral Reform Society and Chair/Director of Fairshare ... and am wholly supportive of the moves to STV-PR for local government elections.

It is indeed, all going to mean a period of political flux in Edinburgh - but I'm pretty certain the local authority will cope with the change (whatever that may be politically and administratively?) which will certainly happen in May.

There is no doubt it's going to be an interesting 6-months!


Anonymous said...

Dear Councillor Burns

It is interesting to read your blog. I have a few suggestions (hope you don't mind). I think the daily diary format of blogs is of limited interest - one quickly tires of reading the same kind of things again and again and I'm guessing you are not getting that much out of it either. It is also difficlut for us readers to comment...

I would like to know what you think about whatever it is you are doing rather than the actual thing you are doing. I am very interested in why you are a councillor, also how do you became a councillor? what are your goals and ambitions etc.

I also think you should put more effort into it (although I guess you will say you're too busy) but if its worth doing.... It was great to see your climbing pictures - need more of them, 1000 words and all that. why not carry a camera and take pictures at meeting or events and and those DIY projects!

Fourthly. Initially I was like, "wow this is great he's linking to all these other things and people". Then I followed a few links and they are of the most basic type. So for example on your post about the Portobello meeting on schools you linked to Porty online but not the thread where they discuss the issue... making it a long search for your poor readers

Fifthly about tone. I don't have a clue about the issues you are talking about and the internet is a hard place to make sarcasm or nuance clear so I would suggest a clearer "this is what I actually think" style

Please don't take this the wrong way I wanted to give some feedback that's all - some people did that to me and it really helped me (I've been blogging for about the same time as you), The most interesting blogs are the 'unusual' ones and your job is definately unusual...

Best wishes
Kieran Gaffney

Andrew said...


Many thanks for the feedback - it's really much appreciated.

I do agree with most of what you say and have had very similar feedback from some friends here in Edinburgh who have been following the blog!

On your points:

1. I will certainly think about changing the 'daily' format
2. I'll rectify the 'why I do this job etc.' soon. It is much more difficult to be completely frank about everything that I do on a daily basis. Local Edinburgh politics is a real fish-bowl and I'm always conscious of that whilst writing the entries - sad, but true.
3. I do plan to put more effort into it - yes, I'm busy but I can always re-prioritise! The few photos posted a couple of days ago were, hopefully, the start of more of the same - I have now invested in a reasonable digital camera for just that purpose.
4. Okay, I'll work on the links.
5. And I'll work on the tone.

Thanks again - I'd really welcome any further thoughts on the changes that I hopefully make over the next few weeks ...