Today was the last meeting of the City Council of this term. Attention was rightly focused on a number of councillors who are retiring.
These include our outgoing Lord Provost George Grubb who has been a councillor since 1999 and started out delivering leaflets for me 22 years ago!
Others include Marilyne MacLaren our Education Convenor elected by just 8 votes at my first election count in 1986. She has gone on to have a distinguished career in that field. They are joined by a number of other Lib Dems elected 5 years ago who have found it difficult to juggle work, young families and being in administration. These include Charles Dundas a former aide to Ming Campbell, Conor Snowden who is going to work in Tanzania, Jo Coleman who is running her baking business, Stephen Hawkins who is a very senior officer with a Housing association, Louise Young who brought her baby to work today and Phil Wheeler of whom I wrote about in a previous blog.
Guys I will miss you all and best of luck in the future.
The Tories were bidding farewell to Alistair Paisley and my former shadow Kate MacKenzie as well as current shadow Gordon Buchan. Kate and Alistair are at the end of their political careers and have served their communities with distinction. Gordon is genuinely going to spend more time with his young family and I expect he will pop up again in the future.
For the Greens Alison Johnstone has gone to Holyrood as has Colin Keir of the SNP. Former Palace Press officer turned Lib Dem councillor turned SNP councillor Elaine Morris is also stepping down as is Stuart McIvor of the SNP who is an ex Royal body guard. Stuart has told me how to take a man down but refuses to say how many he has personally shot (none I'm sure but you can't blame me for asking!). Labour are losing one in the shape of former Council Leader and Rev Ewan Aitken.
There was a distinctly end of term feeling today. The only council meeting I can ever remember where we didn't have a Labour speech on any of the debates.