The row that has erupted over Eva Bolander’s spending has brought the role of the Lord Provost into the spotlight.

It is a curious position, one where an elected councillor is picked out by their colleagues and elevated to perform duties of a civic head.

Expenses row aside, why do we need a Lord Provost and more pertinently if there has to be a figurehead should it really come from the ranks of councillors?

Who thought that one up? Probably a councillor.

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Like with any role some people will be better at it than others but if we are putting up someone to be the welcoming face of the city we shouldn’t be narrowing the selection down to a few dozen men and women from the party in power at the City Chambers at the time.

If this role of Civic Head was advertised publicly or nominations were sought from the public, I would be willing bet 23 pairs of shoes that not a single councillor would make it onto the shortlist.

The job interviews would certainly be very interesting.

Undoubtedly, some Lord Provosts throughout history have made significant contributions but they are few, and the role now is a reward, part of the political game playing and power struggles within and between parties.

If we need someone to welcome visiting dignitaries and show royalty about the city, why don’t we choose someone who really represents the people of Glasgow.

How many people had heard the name Eva Bolander last week?

How many could tell you the name of her predecessor.

In fact, if it were a question on a popular BBC quiz show, ‘name any of the last twenty Glasgow Lord Provosts’, there would be more pointless answers than any other question ever.

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Perhaps instead of a gift local party bosses confer on one of their own there could be a small pool of people who are offered the status of Glasgow Ambassadors, say a dozen, and one Chief Glasgow Ambassador.

We have a similar number now with a Lord Provost, a Deputy and a bunch of others called Baillies.

But these people are all elected as councillors and should be doing councillor duties like dealing with people’s concerns about council services, instead of shaking hands with fellow chain wearers from other cities.

I’m pretty sure if voters knew someone was going to spent all their time being Lord Provost, they would ask ‘so when will you fit in representing people like me?’

Why not take the Lord Provost role out of politics altogether and take the choice of Provost out of the hands of politicians?

My suggestion is we seek nominations from all walks of life, from the people.

We create an alternative Glasgow honours system where the people choose every few years and then ask those folk to perform the civic tasks of a Lord Provost on a rota basis.

It could be a fitting reward for a head teacher with forty years’ service or a business person who has brought benefit to the city with investment.

Perhaps someone who has done wonderful charity work, battled adversity and emerged stronger, or excelled in their chosen field but most importantly someone who Glaswegians are proud to call one of their own.

If you need inspiration, then the Evening Times Greatest Glaswegian list might throw up one or two suggestions.

Even better, the Evening Times Scotswoman of the Year list of past winners and nominees would certainly provide a plethora of people undoubtedly worthy of representing the city at events.

There are countless people who we could choose from and everyone will have their own ideas.

So let’s scrap the Lord Provost and replace it with a Glasgow Ambassador, based on merit and chosen by the people.

I POPPED in to the City Chambers this week to speak to people attending the Healthy Streets Summit.

While I was waiting I had the pleasure of witnessing the pupils form Garnetbank Primary school deliver their message of protecting the environment for future generations.

They had walked up Sauchiehall Street and down through the town in the rain to make their point.

A number of the pupils from across the school addressed the international audience from the stage.

They did so in a variety of languages including English, French, Russian, Italian Arabic, Chinese and Hindi.

The were a credit to their school and their families.

If these children are representative of Glasgow then I would say the city has a bright future ahead.