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Swapping prison for politics

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By Mark McLean, local democracy reporter
Dumfries and West
Swapping prison for politics

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.

Her 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.”


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