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COURIER OPINION: Dundee Provost’s lifetime of service shows why council elections count

Dundee Lord Provost Ian Borthwick has spent nearly 60 years in local government. Photo: Steve Brown/DCT Media.
Dundee Lord Provost Ian Borthwick has spent nearly 60 years in local government. Photo: Steve Brown/DCT Media.

Some question the importance of council elections and whether it is actually worth voting at all.

There is often a jaundiced view of council debating chambers. That they are filled with people who have little to do and too much time on their hands to do it.

But that is an unfair characterisation.

As with any other walk of life, there will be the bad apples.

But council chambers are, for the most part, filled with people who want to make a positive difference to the communities where they live and work.

People like Ian Borthwick, a man of integrity and probity who has spent an entire lifetime in public service and who understands the importance of local government.

Many have – legitimately – questioned his politics over the years.

But Ian’s contribution to city life as an elected member – and latterly as Lord Provost of Dundee – is not in doubt.

Your chance to decide

Today hundreds of people across Scotland will open themselves up to the scrutiny and responsibility which Ian has known since first being elected to office in the 1960s.

It is a myth that they are toothless tigers who are there for the paycheck.

It’s councillors who decide how much council tax you pay.

They oversee lifeline services.

Lord Provost of Dundee, Ian Borthwick is stepping down after 59 years in local government. Photo: Steve Brown/DCT Media.

It’s councillors who sign off on major developments.

They head up huge schemes such as the transformation of Dundee waterfront.

And they are, rightly, accountable for every decision made on their watch.

Today the power is in the public’s hands to decide which of those candidates will represent our communities in the years ahead.

They say if you don’t vote you get the politicians you deserve, not the ones you want.

Surely that is reason enough to get out and vote.

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