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Dumfries and Galloway Council

Meet the scientists!


Councillor for:

Eleven years


I am not a party member; I’m an independent councillor!

Council job:

Vice Chairman of the Scrutiny Committee


I was a shipbroker for The Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company…..


Jane Maitland

You are way ahead of me with questions! Will do as many as possible now.

Favourite Thing: Today, my favourite thing about D&G? Paul Jones fresh bread – especially the GI brown.

Me and my council work

My job is to make sure that the Council treats you and your family fairly.

Hello everyone.  

That’s the short answer.  The long one would send you to sleep unless you are excited by supervising things like:

Licensing Taxis, Pubs, Chippies and Sex Shops (but we haven’t got one in D&G yet)


Waste Management ie Bins, Recycling and the EcoDeco plant in Dumfries

Tourism, Arts, the local Economy

 Environmental Health – eg have Butchers’ Shops got E-Coli?  

Performance Management right across the council (that’s a showstopper)

Checking on Schools, Libraries and Museums 

Roads, bridges and pavements – Keeping them good

Social Work – the Council helps families and older people, often well but sometimes not.

Police and Fire Services





My Typical Day

There’s no such thing, but I’ll do a daily diary extract to give you an idea – see below

Wednesday (today) More Desk: including answering a worry from the public about how a community council is working, considering a planning application (may have to go to Kirkcudbright to research) and looking over Police Fire and Rescue Committee papers as there are proposals to reduce staff.

Tuesday  a desk bound day plus a trip to Auchencairn to speak to MarineScotland about windfarm plans.  Lots of questions from BigVoters

Monday  up at about 6.45 and drive with husband, son and dog to Dumfries.  

Meetings with councillors and officials in morning about Social Work and the savings we need to make, and  if it’s like last week, deal with about 24 e-mails.

Afternoon, discuss Crannog, which is an organisation that  provides lessons and support for pupils who cannot hack school.  Plot world domination with fellow independent councillor George Prentice – this is not true, i am just checking anyone reads this.

Zoom back to Kirkcudbright to hear what people have to say about extending the windfarm at Robin Rigg and in Wigtown Bay.  Home about 9 o’clock i should think.

What I'd do as "Youth Champion"

It’s a no-brainer – I’m a politician: the first thing I would do would be to brag about it to the newspapers. Then, see below

After that i would 

1. look at the issues you have raised during these two weeks

2. work out what should (and could) be done in the short, medium and long term about them

3 talk to the other councillors who represent the wards you live in, and work with you and them to achieve as near as possible what you are looking for

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

small, Scots and aggressive (those were the words used by the mutual friend who introduced my husband and me)

Who is your favourite singer or band?

Spats Langholm

What is the most fun thing you've done?

Recently? – spent 10 days in Edinburgh at the Fringe this summer, escaping the tyranny of childrearing

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

if it was just for me, good health, happy family, quick death

What did you want to be after you left school?

a student – i couldn’t see further than that

Were you ever in trouble in at school?

No, i was far too careful

What's the best thing you've done as a councillor?

Pious answer is ‘ listened, then spoken only when necessary’ but i’m a Councillor so it doesn’t happen often

Tell us a joke.

i cant think of one, but will ask son Freddie next week