Leith Walk: the greenest ward in Scotland?

Green by-election candidate Lorna Slater highlights her top 10 favourite things about Leith Walk and the surrounding area.

I’ve lived in Leith Walk Ward for more than 10 years, and I hope to live here for as long as I can still climb my tenement stairs. Here are my favourite things about the area:

1) It’s multicultural – I love living in a neighbourhood with such a wonderful variety of people. The mix of languages, experiences, shops and restaurants with cultural links and places of worship, make for a vibrant and energetic place. I hope everyone feels welcome here.

2) The public transport links – I feel very lucky that the buses on Leith Walk will whisk me away to any corner of the city day or night, meaning that I don’t need the expense and hassle of using a car. Having the tram line completed all the way to Newhaven will make these links even better.

3) The restaurants and cafes – I probably shouldn’t name specific ones, but there are terrific places to eat along Leith Walk and Easter Road.

4) Independent local businesses – thankfully, we have only a minimum of big-chain shops along Leith Walk and Easter Road. Most of them are independent businesses, which means that they are interesting and unique and really special. We also have unique gyms, independent financial advisers and every other kind of small business.

5) Out of the Blue Drill Hall – there always seems to be something interesting going on here: what a great community resource. Whether it is table-tennis night, local musicians or aerialists performing, a mum and tot coffee morning or even an election meeting: it all happens here.

6) The Edinburgh Tool Library – this charity provides a brilliant service: no longer is there a need for us tenement dwellers to try and store tools on our flats, we can borrow them when we need them from the excellent and convenient Edinburgh Tool Library.

7) The Remakery – a social enterprise which takes in unwanted second-hand goods and refurbishes them, giving them a new lease of life and selling these on at affordable prices or gifting them to people who need them most. Equally importantly, it also teaches repair skills.

8) The TARDIS – the police box along Leith Walk has morphed into a hub for social enterprises, charities and good causes of all kinds. There is something interesting happening at the Tardis nearly every weekend. It is such a great use of this landmark.

9) McDonald Road Library – this wonderful old building with its high ceilings makes me think of a library from a storybook. The library offers not just books, but multi-media, has computers for internet access and meeting rooms for hire. Such a great community resource.

10) It’s Green! – Leith Walk ward is one of the greenest wards in Scotland: in lots of ways – from Pilrig Park to the home of Hibs, and also where lots of green-minded people live and work. So it is always a pleasure to speak to residents on doorsteps or at meetings. That’s why I am standing, after all!

Lorna Slater is an engineer in marine renewables and Green candidate for the Leith Walk by election on 11 April.