Steve Cardownie: Ex-Tory councillor gets new perspective in deprived area

Oxgangs is one of Edinburgh's more deprived areas (Picture: Ian Georgeson)
Oxgangs is one of Edinburgh's more deprived areas (Picture: Ian Georgeson)
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In my column last week, I wrote about ex-councillor Mike Bridgman’s new employment as a bus driver (and that his wife Claire was elected to serve the Almond Ward when it should have read the Drumbrae/Gyle ward) and I’ve since happened across another ex-councillor in the shape of Dom Heslop.

Dom represented The Pentlands ward in the city from 2012 to 2017 when he decided that he had had enough of frontline politics and was eager to try something new, which meant that the City Chambers lost one of its more colourful orators.

He had secured the position of manager of The Oxgangs Neighbourhood Centre where one of his duties entails identifying alternative funding streams as the council grant is deemed to be insufficient to meet the centre’s needs.

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The irony was not lost on this former Tory councillor that he had the responsibility of bridging a funding gap brought about by a public expenditure shortfall, although he assured me that he was up for the challenge.

Dom said that his perspective on life has changed somewhat after working in one of Edinburgh’s deprived areas, having been previously elected to represent the leafy suburbs of Balerno and Juniper Green.

We agreed to meet up for a drink and a chat although he suggested that we should choose a city centre hostelry, as he hadn’t quite plucked up the courage to visit The Good Companions, widely known as The Goodies, which is conveniently located a stone‘s throw from his new workplace.

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