Why did you become Lord Provost?
I had held previous positions within the City of Edinburgh Council, including Deputy Leader and Convener of the Economy Committee. I felt that experience would prove useful in the role as Lord Provost.
What is your favourite part of the job?
The variety of the role. It ranges from meeting inspiring people from Edinburgh who are going out of their way to support some of the most disadvantaged in our society, to welcoming Her Majesty the Queen when she is in Scotland and everything in between.
What has been your biggest success?
I’m working hard on delivering a 2050 city vision for Edinburgh. We are talking to all residents to understand the type of city they want Edinburgh to be by 2050. This is a really important project and I’m delighted to be leading on it.
What has been your biggest setback?
The failure to secure a yes vote in the referendum on Scottish independence.
What surprises you most in this day and age?
I’m constantly surprised by the lengths some people go to in helping others. I find it very inspiring.
What are you reading right now?
Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela.
Are you an early bird or a night owl?
I’m a very early riser.
Who is your hero or inspiration?
My wife, who continues to manage on a daily basis despite suffering from multiple sclerosis.
What was your last overseas trip as Lord Provost?
I was recently in China which was fascinating. This year, Edinburgh secured a direct flight to China so developing on the existing relationships we have in that country is very important over the next few years.
Who is the most interesting person you have met or worked with since becoming Lord Provost?
Too many to choose from! So many of the people I meet are interesting for lots of different reasons.
What’s one thing your colleagues wouldn’t ordinarily know about you?
I am passionate about curling. Scotland is a leading country in this ancient sport and I love watching and playing it. I thoroughly recommend everyone to have a go as it is great fun and keeps you fit.
Favourite place in your city and why?
I’m the elected representative of Corstorphine and Murrayfield, an area in the west of Edinburgh. Working in the city centre with the views of the city, and the 6.5-kilometre walk to work each day are fantastic.
What advice would you give to the first time visitor to your city?
Plan ahead because there is so much to see, and don’t try to cram it into one visit. Keep coming back to enjoy all that we have to offer.
CITY, COUNTRY OF BIRTH:
BA Business Studies, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants
DATE ELECTED MAYOR:
Deputy Leader, City of Edinburgh Council 2015-2017
Convener of the Economy Committee, City of Edinburgh Council 2012-2015
EUROCITIES 2018 Edinburgh, ‘Creative, competitive, cities–building our future together’, 28-30 November will take place at a critical time for Europe. The event will bring together participants from across Europe to discuss the future focusing on two interconnected strands: citizenship and democracy; and culture–a smart investment for our future. eurocities2018.eu