COUNCILLOR MARGOT RUSSELLI became a councillor in 1999 and represented the then Newbattle/Pathhead ward. Following changes to ward boundaries as a result of the introduction of PR, I stood in 2007 and 2012 and was successful in the Dalkeith ward. I am delighted to be stand again in the May 2017 local government election.
I have lived in the Dalkeith ward for over 55 years and raised my family here. I have like many women took part time work to fit in with the care of my family. My involvement with politics came about following the 1984/85 Miners Strike. I also worked for Eric Clarke former MP and Rhona Brankin former MSP gaining a lot of experience during that time.
My public service has extended to working with local groups such as the Dalkeith Welfare Hall. Midlothian Voluntary Action and Midlothian Advice and Resource Centre and recently with Recovery Connections an organisation set up to assist people taking part in recovery from Drugs and Alcohol abuse. I campaigned against Legal Highs and was delighted that a law came in to ban these drugs.
My own personal involvement with a small charity, called Bill Russell Woodburn Youth Project set up in 2007 following his death in 2005. Bill was a serving councillor and was always concerned about the young people. So we now run a Drop In for young people which offers games and a place to meet with friends. We recently ran a pilot Art Club which was very successful and we are the process of funding it. Other ideas are a Youth cafe.
During my time I have served on many committees in Council and have seen many changes and have struggled with some budget cuts when Labour was the administration but this SNP/Independent administration latest budgets cuts leave me despondent.