Councillor Susan Webber represents the Pentland Hills ward alongside fellow Conservative Councillor Graeme Bruce. A local, she attended Juniper Green Primary School and Currie High School before studying biochemistry at Edinburgh University.
Susan Webber became a Councillor as a result of the local elections last May. She knows and loves her community. As a girl Sue lived in Baberton and Currie, and now she lives in Juniper Green. “I am the only Councillor in Edinburgh who both grew up in and currently lives in their constituency,” she says.
She is well-known in the area, which is a real benefit. Her dad was a policeman and also Captain of the 65th Boys’ Brigade for more than 20 years. Her mum has always been involved in the community too.
In school Sue developed an interest in science and enjoyed playing badminton and hockey She continued playing hockey at university, and is currently serving as President of East District Hockey. Injuries led her to switch to umpiring but now, due to a very full diary, sport has had to take a backseat.
Sue thought she would follow in her dad’s footsteps and join the police, but she couldn’t do enough press ups to qualify. She then worked as a temp, and was sent to Ethicon in Livingston, the world’s largest global health care company. There she eventually landed a permanent job in sales and marketing.
Being made redundant in 2012 was not part of her plan, but it gave Sue another opportunity to consider what she really wanted to do, leading to her current role in local government. She also set up her own company, MEDinburgh, and through it she markets and sells medical equipment for small businesses into NHS and Private Hospitals.
A bit of juggling is required to meet her responsibilities as a Councillor and run her business, but Sue is the queen of time management. “I used to use electronic diaries,” she comments, “but I’ve gone back to paper diaries to help me organise my life: Councillor, business and personal.”
She says there are three strings to a Councillor’s bow. The first is the formal Council element. “The Labour/SNP coalition present papers, and those of us in Opposition can make amendments or motions on these. People can see their local Councillors in action by watching the live webcast monthly on a Thursday.” There are also various committees, and Sue is a member of the Governance, Risk and Best Value Committee and the Edinburgh Integration Joint Board (Health and Social Care). Finally, there is the constituency work, her passion.
Sue says she is committed to her local community, and that’s about to be put to the test. On the day I interviewed her news broke about the planned closure of Currie High School. My guess is that Sue is about to get even busier.
First published in Konect February 2018
Author: Suzanne Green