Graeme Hendry: SNP respect Glaswegians' choice and will hold Labour to account
THEY say a week is a long time in politics.
Well, it's been a whole month since the local government elections in May and time has really flown by!
I want to start by thanking all of the many people who took the time to vote in Garscadden and Scotstounhill on May 3rd. It is an honour and a privilege to have been chosen to be your representative for the next five years and I will work to the best of my ability to represent everyone in the ward.
As you may know, there are four councillors for the ward of Garscadden/Scotstounhill and I will continue to work with them across parties on this for the best interests of our community.
I have been deeply honoured twice in the past month - firstly, by being re-elected by you, and secondly by being chosen as the new Leader of Glasgow's SNP Group. This is a huge challenge and one I am really looking forward to - following in the footsteps of John Mason, James Dornan and latterly Councillor Allison Hunter. My job will be made easier by having such a talented and enthusiastic group to lead in the coming years.
In politics though it is important to listen to the people and respect the election result. The people of Glasgow have opted to elect Labour to run their council - despite a positive campaign by the SNP and a strong team of candidates, the people chose others to run their city.
I am however pleased to have the biggest ever group of Glasgow SNP Councillors with 27 elected across the city and at least one in every ward.
The result means Labour has a mandate and obligation to deliver on their manifesto and we in the SNP have the responsibility of holding them to account for this.
I have an excellent team with a wide range of skills, ability and experience and I am confident they are up to the job.
One of the first areas I have asked my team to focus on is education and with Councillor Mhairi Hunter from Southside Central taking the lead in this area we will not underestimate the task.
Two areas we are focusing on at the moment is Labour's pledge to rebuild or refurbish every primary school in Glasgow that requires it and the Council's commitment to nursery education.
We in the SNP where also keen to redirect funding to rebuild and refurbish schools as I know in my own ward there is not a single Primary School in above average physical condition despite the best efforts of staff. How Labour will fund this is yet to be seen but I would urge Parent Council's across the city to ensure there local members know if they feel their school needs rebuilt or refurbished so as they are included in the program for the next five years.
On nursery education it is vital this is led by teachers and I was delighted when the Leader of the Council said before the election that Nursery Teachers are irreplaceable. This seemed a fairly clear and unequivocal pledge to me. I am therefore very concerned at plans by the Council to no longer ensure Heads of Nursery Schools must be led by teachers.
I would hope the pre-election pledge is kept and doesn't just turn out to be an election soundbite.
I look forward to many more blog posts with The Glaswegian and the opportunity to work for you over the coming months and years.
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