Aileen Colleran’s Blog

Partick, Politics and Passions

Partick West News 22/09/97

This week and the next are living out of a suitcase weeks – earlier this week was in Gateshead for the ASPE (Association of Public Service Excellence) annual seminar and today am on my way to Labour Party Conference in Bournemouth.  APSE is an organisation that’s evolved from the fight to retain directly delivered council services in the face of the Tory onslaught to outsource and privatise via CCT (Compulsory Competitive Tendering – a process that priced everything and valued nothing). Their website is a good resource  http://www.apse.org.uk 

Back midweek for more meetings, including full council on Thursday – a community activist from Whiteinch wanted to know what goes on at our meetings so I arranged a visitors ticket for her in the gallery, and although I’d thought she might want to leave before the end of the two and a half hours she found it interesting enough to endure the discomfort of the wooden seats for the full duration. There was a good debate on climate change , job relocation and employment issues and whether a councillor should also serve as an MSP. The last was, of course, a Labour motion to highlight the fact that Councillor Bill Kidd MSP draws two salaries from the public purse but his constituents are getting short changed out of this attempt at double duty.  The fundamental incompatability of the two roles was glaringly obvious as he had to leave before the motion was debated to catch the Edinburgh train to go through to vote in parliament. The rather weak argument advanced by the SNP was that it was actually beneficial to have a dual role representative as he wouldn’t have to pass MSP casework on to anyone else. Leaving aside the fact that I’ve found we rarely have to pass casework to MSP’s (usually the other way round) , were they really making the argument to abolish local councillors as MSP’s could do the job instead ? Pointing out that we had candidates for parliament who also stood for the council didnt wash either as this was the first time the party allowed double candidature and only on the understanding that you had to choose one or the other if elected to both.

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September 22, 2007 - Posted by | Council, Labour party, SNP

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