Councillor report

Green councillors’ report for May 2024

29 April to 24 May


from Alys Mumford and Ben Parker (Green group Co-Conveners)

Yes, yes, there will be a general election on 4th July, but we all know the real exciting election will be the race to become the new Edinburgh Green Councillor Group Co-Conveners. So, this month it’s all eyes on the Councillor group AGM in early June where portfolios will be shuffled within the group, and we will be stepping down as Co-Conveners as per our group Standing Orders. At the AGM we will be reflecting on our wins from the first 2 years in the Council as well as working with the Manifesto Working Group to gather your views about what we should be focusing on for the remainder of the term.

We’d love to see as many members there as possible so do come along on the 10th June at 7.30 PM in the City Chambers. Register by emailing

Elsewhere in the council, there’s been lots going on. At May’s Full Council meeting we successfully passed motions on Chinese-manufactured CCTV cameras, landlord registration fees, Jean Watson, and climate targets – find out more on the twitter thread here.

Next month will see the final Full Council meeting of the second year of the 5-year term, and we’ll also be meeting with the new Chief Executive of the Council to talk with him about our priorities for climate and social justice. 

Councillor highlights from the month

Asked to pick 1 highlight from the month, our Councillors said:

Alys Mumford

Alys has been continuing to raise the issue of accessible public toilets for Portobello, and successfully brought an addendum to Culture Committee calling for better signage and communication about the temporary toilets this summer.

Ben Parker

Following some concerning casework about PhD students being incorrectly charged Council Tax bills, Ben brought a motion to Full Council calling for an urgent review into Council practice. The motion passed and the Council has now reviewed its approach to managing Council Tax exemptions for students meaning PhD students are fully covered.

Susan Rae

Susan secured a win at Regulatory Committee this month, ensuring that the Council will have to go out to public consultation on any temporary exemptions to Short Term Lets.

Jule Bandel

As well as forcing a rare display of consensus to break out at Transport and Licensing Committee this week, Jule also gave a presentation at the branch meeting to tell members all about the proposed tram extension routes.

Kayleigh O’Neill

Kayleigh successfully brought amendments to Transport & Environment Committee that helped keep the Workplace Parking Levy on the agenda.

Steve Burgess

Following a public consultation with over 300 responses in favour of a community growing garden at the former bowling green in Prestonfield, Steve has been co-ordinating with officers, ELGT (Edinburgh & Lothians Greenspace Trust) and the community to ensure that a design for the garden is brought forward and shared at a local event.

Claire Miller

At GRBV (Group Risk and Best Value) Committee, Claire took the opportunity to push Health & Social Care officers on the budget after they received a poor internal audit on financial sustainability and monitoring [webcast].

Alex Staniforth

Alex put forward an amendment that made it clear library closures will NOT be considered in the future libraries consultation.

Chas Booth

Chas successfully brought a motion to Planning Committee to ensure that cycle parking standards for new developments are upheld wherever possible, and that when accessibility is prioritised in all cases.

Dan Heap

Dan successfully got the Council to rule out using the anti-union Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act to force striking staff back to work against their will, and also to press ahead with plans for a city-wide Firework Control Zone.

Committee activity and other things to look out for in the coming month

Policy and Sustainability

Next week, Greens will (hopefully) be celebrating a big win where the Council’s advertising and sponsorship policy will be amended to exclude the advertising of high-carbon products including SUVs and cruise ships. This follows a 2-year long campaign after Ben Parker first brought a motion to Full Council in summer 2022. 

Housing, Homelessness and Fair Work

At Housing committee, Ben brought forward an amendment to scrutinize the practices around the Council’s retrofit programme after concerns were raised by Living Rent about families being evicted from their homes to allow works, and many residents being forced into high debt for the scheme.

Health & Social Care

The feasibility study looking at the types of residential care which can be offered in Drumbrae Care Home is due to be reported to the Integration Joint Board on 17th June – this is a key milestone in the campaign to have this care home re-opened.