Councillor report

Green councillors’ report December 2019

Highlights from your Green group of councillors: council, committee and ward news

Mary Campbell

In Education, Mary Campbell learned more about issues with home to school transport, and continued investigating how looked after children can be better supported with their school placement.

In Portobello/Craigmillar, Mary Campbell continued to work on what is happening with Portobello Town Hall, bringing representatives from community groups together with lead council officers to hear about the next steps for the building, and discussing how the community can shape what happens to the building.

Gavin Corbett

In Fountainbridge-Craiglockhart, Gavin Corbett has been very active in seeking to secure a new future for Gorgie City Farm: taking a proposal to full council which resulted in additional funding in the short term; and working with former staff and community representatives on arrangements to safeguard public fundraising for the farm.

Gavin visited the new energy to waste plant at Millerhill, which now takes almost all of the non-recycled waste for both Edinburgh and Midlothian. Green councillors have been sceptical about incineration as an approach to dealing with waste; however, it was useful to see the plant in operation.

Alex Staniforth

As co-convener of the council group, Alex worked with other opposition parties in the council to ensure that the council had stricter rules governing when it was acceptable for council officers and councillors to take flights as part of official council business.

As current chair of the Neighbourhood Network for Craigentinny and Duddingston Alex ensured that the improvement of parks within the ward was on the network’s agenda.

Chas Booth

In Leith, Chas Booth recently chaired the Community Asset Transfer panel for Duncan Place Resource Centre, which has unanimously recommended the transfer go ahead. This should provide a much-needed space for third sector groups and community bodies near Leith Links if the recommendation is approved later this year.As Housing spokesperson, Chas recently met with Edinburgh Tenants Federation to discuss what more the council can do to tackle fuel poverty and build more socially rented homes.

Steve Burgess

At the last full Council of 2019, Steve Burgess proposed that city residents be engaged with the Climate emergency through a Citizen’s Assembly or Jury. The move was supported by a passionate deputation from Transition Edinburgh, XR Edinburgh and Scottish Youth Climate Strikers. A report on this idea is expected to come back to the council in the first half of 2020.

At Education committee, Steve also won backing for a report on how energy use by the school estate (which accounts for almost half of the council’s climate-changing pollution) can be brought into line with the council’s 2030 net-zero carbon target – a massive challenge for energy efficiency and renewable energy innovation over the next 10 years.

In Southside-Newington ward, Steve worked with the Prestonfield Residents Association to have a permanent safety barrier installed on Prestonfield Avenue to prevent children running out of Prestonfield Park and into the road.

Melanie Main

In December, Signature Pubs opened their new pub, McLarens at Holy Corner, blocked a right of way, put up signage without planning permission, and disregarded planning conditions. Melanie has been working hard with staff to ensure all possible means to bring them back into line are explored.

At the Edinburgh Integration Joint Board (EIJB), Melanie got agreement for a report into the failures and improvements needed in the Mental Health Services and waiting lists.

Susan Rae

For Susan, the last two months have been very much dominated by £eithChooses 2020. All applications are in, scrutinised & verified, and voting day is Saturday 1 February, Leith Community Centre.

Susan continues to support the Save Leith Walk group. Following the SLW victory in the appeal over proposed demolition of the Leith Walk block of shops, the next step is looking at community buy out for the buildings. SLW is also looking at a proposal in Iona Street.

Claire Miller

Claire was focused on the Edinburgh East Westminster election, at which she and her campaigners won the highest Green vote share of the candidates fielded in Edinburgh, and built campaigning capacity for elections in the future.