Over to the closest yellow splodge of the new map for the pleasant task of convening the AGM of the Midlothian Council SNP Group (currently in opposition) and re-elect office bearers to replace Colin Beattie who turned a Labour ‘stronghold’ into a 3,000-strong SNP majority. Never a chore to visit any of our hundreds of front-line councillors and see how they are to the fore in portraying positive hope and engagement across areas where Labour ruled so long they lost their way in petty power struggles and cronyism.
Midlothian is in fiscal difficulties, caused by the present recession that has reduced the money from government but also torpedoed a lucrative land sale that they been counting on to fund part of the revenue budget. As a result, corners are being cut and ‘savings’ made that are hardly sensible. A trivial but symbolic example: the double door entrance to their Dalkeith headquarters has one side marked ‘Push’ but the door is evidently broken. Their solution? Not to fix a busy door but to cover the ‘Push’ sign with packing tape and tack on a hand-written ‘Use Other Door’ sign.
A £180m operation with 4,000+ employees ought to be able to look professional. If nothing else, each new SNP administration formed next May needs to raise the game.