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Former Dumfries Prison governor ditches working with convicts to step into politics

By Marc McLean & Dumfries and Galloway Standard

The former governor of Dumfries Prison has ditched working with convicts to enter politics.

And Linda Dorward has vowed to take no prisoners as she gets stuck into her new role as a Dumfries and Galloway Councillor.

Elected as Labour member for the Lochar ward on Friday, Linda said: “I like a challenge and people who know me say that I do like to get things done.”

Having stepped down as the governor of Dumfries Prison just four months ago, Linda was keen to get back into a role serving the public.

The Dumfries woman’s new job as an elected member marks another twist in what has already been a very interesting career.

Originally from Dundee, Linda worked as a psychiatric nurse at Stratheden Hospital in Cupar in the 90s.

She explained: “I finished my career there as a charge nurse in acute psychiatry admissions, then I moved down here over three years ago to go into the prison service as a nurse manager.

“After a series of different moves, going into the operational side, I ended my career as the governor of Dumfries Prison.”

Asked why she decided to move into local politics so soon after quitting her governor role, Linda replied: “It’s all about making a difference. Whilst I retired from full-time employment, I still want to give something back to the community.

“I like a challenge and people who know me say that I do like to get things done.

“It’s been a long few months campaigning. Campaigning has been really interesting, getting to properly know the ward and the people.

“A big part of what we do is talking to the electorate and representing them. When I went round the doors a lot of people were saying there’s been a shift in how the council does its business. Some just don’t know what happens within the council.

“So, I think the challenge is working with everybody who has been elected – and we have to be quite pragmatic about that to get things done.”

Linda was one of nine Labour councillors elected to Dumfries and Galloway Council on Friday.

The other new faces were: Sandy Whitelaw – Mid Galloway and Wigtown West, Emma Jordan and Paula Stevenson – North West Dumfries, Callum Jamieson – Mid and Upper Nithsdale, Keith Walters – Nith, Carolyne Wilson – Annandale North.

They join longer-serving Labour members who were re-elected: Davie Stitt – Abbey, Sean Marshall – Annandale South, and Archie Dryburgh – Annandale East and Eskdale. Overall, the polls returned 16 Conservative councillors, 11 for SNP, Labour’s nine candidates, six independents, and one Lib Dem member.

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Dive Deeper:
'We're ruling nothing out': party leaders on who will take control of Dumfries and Galloway Council
The Conservatives are openly inviting talks with opposition councillors about striking a power-sharing deal
'Party politics' forced Dumfries and Galloway councillor to quit SNP just months before election
Dougie Campbell says that trust in politicians is "pretty low" at the moment and he wants electorate to be served…
SNP will 'happily' speak to councillor behind Islamophobic slur against Humza Yousaf
The party's Stephen Thomson said he wanted to find out Jim Dempster's "intentions and priorities" for Dumfries and Galloway council
Here's how voters punished Labour for getting into bed with the Tories
LABOUR had a good election by their declining standards in Scotland, but it was also their second-worst election result on…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Manchester council sees biggest shake-up under new leader's reign
The three-hour meeting saw some fresh faces elected to senior roles
Some of the new faces representing Swansea after the local elections
It includes the city's first ever Green Party councillor
Get all your news in one place