Here’s how Edinburgh councillors advance their careers – Steve Cardownie

Alliances between Edinburgh city councillors can be more important than ability, writes Steve Cardownie.

Wednesday, 8th January 2020, 6:00 am
Councillors atn the City Chambers are gearing up for Group AGMs. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

AT the turn of any year, councillors turn their minds to their respective Group annual general meeting and what they may hold for them.

They can provide opportunities for political advancement but can also equally prove to be a graveyard for political ambitions. Whilst you would expect there to be a detailed evaluation of a councillor’s performance in their respective roles, with removal being an option when dealing with an underperformer, it is normally the formation of alliances within the group that ensure survival or advancement.

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A poor performer can still be left in situ if they are guaranteed support from a majority of their colleagues, come what may, and they return the favour by supporting them in turn.

Readers may have formed a view as to who has performed well (or adequately) as well as those who appear to put their foot in it every time they utter a statement and are the subject of sustained public criticism as a consequence, but this is unlikely to cut any ice within the groups that make up the city council.

It is a brave group leader who risks their position (particularly if their own performance in the role has been found wanting) by making an untimely recommendation on who should be promoted or demoted, no matter if the evidence is staring them in the face.

It is for that reason that I can confidently predict that there will be no major changes in positions within the council and the present incumbents will be allowed to plough on regardless – despite what the electorate may think!