Sunday 20 June 2010

Planning for the weeks ahead

Regular readers will that know I'm pregnant and, all being well, due on the 27th of June. I've still been doing my best to make it to events in my ward and committees, and hope to continue to do so until the baby arrives. Clearly, it's impossible to tell when that will be, but I will put the news up on here (or at the very least on the twitter feed in the wee box above my photo) as soon as I can!

Afterwards, I hope you'll not hold it against me if I'm not able to deal with your enquiries personally and instantly - I will however have support from a secretary in the City Chambers, who can help with most Council matters. I'll still be able to respond to emails and calls on my blackberry, and will have a laptop set up so that I can work from home. I hope to pursuade some of my colleagues to help with surgeries in the first few weeks til I find my feet.

I don't intend to take 'formal' maternity leave -
I just can't imagine taking six months away from the hustle and bustle of the Council. There's also no-one to cover for me in my absence as there would be in a 'normal' job, and I don't want to let my constituents, my colleagues and my party down.

It might help if I explain that
Councillors aren't 'employees' in the normal sense, in that we're not technically required to turn up to work every day. Obviously, a Councillor would be doing a pretty poor job if that were the case, and I can't think why in the normal course of events you would do that. The penalty for not showing up for an extended period of time is disqualification - dealt with in Section 35 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, which states:

"if a member of a local authority fails throughout a period of six consecutive months to attend any meeting of the authority, he shall, unless the failure was due to some reason approved by the authority, cease to be a member of the authority."

The Council seem to be quite prepared to allow me to work flexibly, bringing the baby in with me to work, and I hope that community organisations will allow me to do the same.

I want to be available to my constituents, and I would like to reassure people that I'm not going anywhere - I live in Dennistoun and will still be out and about!


Hythlodaeus said...

Good luck with everything :)

Unknown said...

Yes, good luck and best wishes.

A word of caution, though. Don't try to rush back too quickly in the early days. You need to take a good few weeks to get used to the new baby. A wise person told me by 10 weeks, I'd have got used to it all and it actually took around 7.5. Thing is when it all does fall into place and you're accustomed to having the new one around, he or she will be very portable.

I am sure that your colleagues will help out. You have given so much help and hard work to others that they owe you big time:-).

All the very best and I can't wait to hear news of the new arrival.

BellgroveBelle said...

Thanks guys. Will be posting up news as soon as I can.

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