“With the continued lockdown rules due to Covid-19, no one is sure when we will be able to get back to holding our traditional councillor surgeries, so we’ve came up with an alternative”, said Cllr Kenny MacLaren (SNP – Paisley Northwest).
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has made it difficult to forecast when traditional councillor surgeries could take place. The restrictions on meeting people inside has meant that plans to re-instate councillor surgeries have had to be put on hold. However, the SNP councillors for Paisley Northwest, Councillors Mags and Kenny MacLaren, are now looking at offering virtual surgeries to their constituents. A few other councillors are offering something similar, but these are based on a specific time, whereas the plan from the Paisley Northwest councillors is to arrange a mutually convenient time for constituents.
Cllr Kenny MacLaren said;
“We had hoped by now we could have went back to our usual surgery routine, but unfortunately that isn’t the case. Although we’ve been busy with enquiries from constituents using post, email and phone calls, we know a number of constituents prefer to meet face to face. That’s why we’ve adapted the virtual surgery idea.
“Throughout the pandemic we’ve been contacting council directors via MS Teams as well as using Zoom and Meet for other meetings. So, whether it’s Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet or simply Skype we’re happy to meet our constituents face to face at a mutually convenient time.”
Councillor Mags MacLaren added:
“Throughout the Covid -19 lockdown we have been busy with casework, with constituents contacting us via phone calls, emails and even letters. However, some people prefer face to face meetings and we’re now offering this option as well. Sometimes the issues that constituents want to raise are very personal and they don’t feel comfortable writing it down and would prefer to see the person they are speaking to. “All our constituents have to do is contact us – via phone or email – to arrange a mutually convenient time and decide which method of communication they prefer, and we’ll do our best to help them with whatever issue they raise with us.”