The Evening News has recently reported on several high-profile retirements from Edinburgh City Council. It’s all change in the City Chambers, it seems.
Or at least, it will be in May. That’s when every seat in every council in Scotland is up for election. I pay tribute to those stepping down for their service – whatever their party – as local services only work well when local democracy works well and that means decent councillors of every hue putting their shoulder to the wheel.
Just as the Scottish Conservatives had a good Holyrood election in May, doubling our number of MSPs, so we are expecting to add dozens of councillors to our number across the country.
And, just as I looked to bring forward a new generation of Scottish Conservative MSPs, so am I looking for new faces to join my team in councils across the county. Women and men of all ages and background – working, retired or returning young mums, who all want to give something back to their local community are welcome.
With communities crying out for a strong local voice, local councils offer the chance to inject commonsense values in our society.
They need people who will speak up for well-run public services, to deliver value for the taxpayer and to keep our streets safer.
If you’ve ever worried about the state of Edinburgh’s roads or had your bin collection missed or worried about local school provision or leisure opportunities, then there’s an easy way to get involved.
Right now, the Scottish Conservatives are assessing and selecting our council candidates. We’re not looking for professional politicians, just people with a commitment to serving their community as a councillor, a belief in our United Kingdom and the will to make a difference.
Our council group in Edinburgh does a fantastic job – they come from all parts of the city and ensure local residents’ voices are heard. But we’re ambitious and we believe in May, we’ll see that group grow to include many more people.
Whichever part of Edinburgh you’re from, there are local issues that you’ll want to see sorted – housing, jobs, roads, social care – and councillors getting local services right, makes a huge difference to the quality of life people enjoy.
We’re all blessed by living in one of the great cities of the world. You only have to look outside to see the festival crowds to know how many people want a slice of what we enjoy every day. But just because Edinburgh’s great; doesn’t mean we can’t make it better.
If you think you’d like to help and get involved a quick trip to the Scottish Conservatives website will show you your first steps. Your city needs you.
Ruth Davidson is Scottish Conservative leader and Edinburgh Central MSP