Aileen Colleran’s Blog

Partick, Politics and Passions

Partick West News 27/10/07

Saturday surgeries are already proving to be busier than evening weekday ones, and have quite a variety of issues to tackle as a result – including the three people who stopped me in the street on my way to the Burgh Hall. Maybe I should just wander up and down Dumbarton Road with a notebook ! This summer I did street surgeries with John Robertson MP. The bulk of my old ward was tenemental, and the street surgery concept was difficult to operate in that environment, but with plenty of front doors in the new ward I finally got to find out how effective this can be. You pick streets for lettering with an invitation for residents to put a poster in their window if they want the MP/MSP/Councillor to call at their door on a set day/time. That way we don’t annoy people by interrupting them at an inconvenient time , as I’m reasonably sure I did with one couple at the last election and why they answered the door at all was a bit of a mystery, maybe they thought I was the pizza delivery guy.. When it comes to surgeries, there’s no set requirement by law for a councillor to hold them, but each political party has its own rules for their elected members. As part of our contract with the Labour party we have to hold at least one , and common sense would suggest that in a larger multi-member ward you have a reasonable amount, spread across the ward. I haven’t decided yet about venues for Jordanhill and Broomhill as there are some areas where people are quite happy to contact you by phone and email – by and large  surgeries are the main method of councillor contact in areas where people don’t have or can’t afford that access to technology (and not forgetting literacy problems) but I would estimate only 20% of my casework comes via surgeries. As with the attendance at community councils, myself and the other members for the ward agreed it would be foolish to compete by having surgeries in the same place at the same time. It’s quite interesting (for political obsessives , everyone else has a life, but then, it’s my job ) to look at surgery cover in the new political dynamic in Glasgow , as it would appear that not every party insists on surgeries being done, unless some members have still to make up their minds ?

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October 27, 2007 - Posted by | Council, councillor, Partick

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