Saturday, 25 August 2012

Advice and Scouting for Euro disappointment

Today's post reads like a diary excerpt again I'm afraid. Really busy just now but must learn the art of time management and post more regularly.

Monday - Usual run of Monday meetings followed by surgeries at Ratho and Balerno, followed by Ratho Community Council. One or two complaints about anti social behaviour problems in the middle of the village. Police and Council officials have been notified and prompt action is expected.

Tuesday - Very interesting visit to Citizens Advice Edinburgh's new offices in Bernard Street, Leith. I say "new" but in fact it was an old DSS office apparently. Perfect for CAE's purposes though, lots of interview rooms and meeting space. They are as concerned as we are about the impact of Welfare Reform changes and the expected increase in workload that will follow. Created a few ideas about what we could do in the future though.

Wednesday - Myself and my vice convener Cllr Cammy Day visited a group of service users at Gowrie Care's offices in Newington. Significant support is required for this group of vulnerable people who have complex needs, addiction problems and sometimes physical and mental health issues to add to the equation. Its fair to say that life didn't deal them and a particularly strong hand. However, that's not to say that they don't have opinions about the service that they need and we had a really good discussion on some of the perceived weaknesses in the current system. Food for thought for Cammy and I and we have followed up with a couple of further discussions within the Council, hopeful of bringing about some improvements. Then popped in to the open session at Access to Industry and just about managed to get out of the centre of town in time to attend three local meetings on the bounce, Wester Hailes Community Council, WEGARAH and Juniper Green Community Council. All fairly constructive.

Thursday - A relatively short full Council meeting left time to catch up on other business and look forward to the visit of Liverpool to Tynecastle. They left many of their stars at home and had clearly come to play for a draw.  Hearts played well and were extremely unlucky not to be heading south next week with something to defend.

Friday - basically a series of meetings / briefings on various current issues, from Adaptations and older peoples services to Housing and procurement legislation. No wonder my brain hurts ! 

Last night I was delighted to accept an invitation to the AGM of the 51st Pentlands Balerno Scout Group. A packed hall received reports on the year's activities and the heartening news that numbers of beavers, cubs and scouts are steadily increasing year on year. Pretty impressive these days to see local groups that rely on volunteers going from strength to strength. Doesn't happen by accident of course and there is a band of very committed people who carry out all the behind the scenes tasks that are necessary to keep things going.

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