NEW ANGUS South MSP Graeme Dey has described his first week in his new job as a “whirlwind”.
Just over two weeks ago, Mr Dey was elected to represent the constituency after polling just over 58 per cent of the vote and increasing the SNP’s majority to more than 10,000.
And since then he has been trying to settle into life at Holyrood as well as working with his constituents to try and address any worries or concerns they may have.
The start of Mr Dey’s life as an MSP began two weeks ago, after a long night at the Saltire Centre in Arbroath waiting for the ballot papers to be counted.
He was finally declared as MSP for Angus South at 5.30 a.m., which marked the start of his new political career.
He said: “The whole weekend just went by so quickly but it really has been an exciting time.
“After the result was announced at around 5.30 in the morning, which was just wonderful I did my first ever TV interview and then managed to get to bed around 7.30.
“But even on Friday it was busy and I managed to make my first official engagement when I accompanied Mike Weir to Arbroath United Cricket Club for the launch of the relay for life.
“Even then it still hadn’t sunk in and it wasn’t until I was asked to sign a bottle of whisky as a raffle prize it dawned on me I would have to sign it with the letters MSP after my name.
“Saturday was spent in Edinburgh and I was lucky to be the first MSP at the parliament and we all got shown around where our offices will be and then had our pictures taken for our security passes.
“Later in the afternoon we had a group meeting where we all had our photograph taken together and the atmosphere was unbelievable as we were all able to get together for the first time.”
But if Mr Dey was hoping for a quiet Sunday after celebrating with his activists on Saturday night he was mistaken as he dealt with his first major surgery case.
He explained: “Early on Sunday I was contacted by a constituent in Arbroath who was having a problem with blocked drains.
“So I was up early to see this lady to help her out and I suppose it was a bit of a welcome to your new world moment as an MSP you always have to be available for your constituents in cases like this.”
Last Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Mr Dey split his time between the constituency and Edinburgh setting up his office and getting to know the staff who will assist him.
He added: “Being through at the parliament all the new boys and girls have been shown around and learnedhow everything functions and you realise just how fantastic the staff are there and how professional and helpful they are.
“In terms of my staff, I will have Fraser Hudghton as my parliamentary office manager, while Linda Crawford will be my constituency office manager.
“Wednesday really was the big day when we had the swearing in ceremony and it was very nerve-racking.
“Luckily I managed to get through it without making any mistakes and it was a proud moment, especially as my mum and dad were also there.”
Now the dust is starting to settle on his election win, Mr Dey is ready to get down to work, trying to deal with the areas problems as well as promoting its successes around the country.
He said: “The big issues for any areas are always jobs and the money people have in their pockets and this is a concern everywhere.
“Particularly in Angus South from when I was canvassing people were concerned about protecting our high streets and that is definitely something we will be looking at.
“But one of my aims is to get out there and promote all of the success stories from our communities and make people realise Angus has a lot to offer.”
Any constituents wanting to contact Graeme Dey office staff can call the temporary office number which is 07554 112126.