Councillor report

Green councillors report February 2019

Recent policy and ward news from our Green councillors

Policy Work

Gavin Corbett’s February was dominated by the city council budget, working with Claire Miller.  For the final budget, set on 21 February, the Green budget motion put forward major investment in a Climate Emergency Fund, health and social care and tackling homelessness. The SNP-Labour budget, which was passed, did, however, contain specific proposals from the Greens on empty homes, tree replacement and homelessness prevention.

In Full Council Mary Campbell gained agreement for school education to include information on menstrual conditions, like PMDD and endometriosis, and that the council will work to raise awareness of those condition, which affect a large number of menstruators who often have many years before they are diagnosed.

On Planning Committee Alex Staniforth gained agreement to put a section on ‘disability’ in its Guidance for developers when it is reviewed in October.

Chas Booth has been continuing to scrutinise the case for completing the tram line to Newhaven, and pushing to improve the cycling and walking provision in the new designs.

At full council in February, Claire proposed a motion condemning the UK government’s settled status registration scheme, and challenged the Conservative group of councillors who defended their government’s racist policy.

In early February Steve Burgess brought a ‘Climate Emergency 2030’ proposal to the full Council meeting calling for Edinburgh to set a carbon-reduction target in-line with latest UN IPCC warnings and to bring forward an action plan. The proposal was unanimously supported but Green Cllrs have since criticised the SNP/Lab Coalition for failing to commit any new resources to the Climate Emergency.

Ward Work

In Southside-Newington ward, Nicolson Street was revealed as one of the most polluted streets in Scotland with harmful nitrogen dioxide levels breaching safety limits. Steve Burgess met with air pollution campaigners who advise that introduction of a Low Emission Zone is key to reducing pollution through this corridor.

In Portobello/Craigmillar Mary Campbell attended a Meet Your Councillor event in Magdalene organised by Community Renewal, where she took on case work from residents about litter, dog fouling and community green spaces. She then took part in a clean up of Magdalene Glen as part of a targeted week of action organised by the council for the area, which was a result of Mary and other local councillors pushing for council action in Magdalene.

In Craigentinny and Duddingston Alex Staniforth worked with ward colleagues to  press officers to give clear deadlines on local improvement projects.

In Leith and Leith Walk, Susan Rae and Chas Booth have been supporting the Leith Chooses process to distribute more than £40,000 of community grants funding through a public participation process.

Claire Miller has been busy speaking at local Green events – as part of a panel of speakers on the impacts of Brexit, and as part of a group of women who are helping more female party members to get active in politics.

In Fountainbridge-Craiglockhart Gavin Corbett spent a sunny morning with Izzy Jones, the newly-appointed community outreach worker for Friends of Easter Craiglockhart Hill, out on the hill and in the woods, discussing plans for enhancing one of SW Edinburgh’s best-loved green spaces.

In Leith Walk Susan Rae has been busy with £eith Chooses, Save Leith Walk, and getting improvements to the plans for Powderhall. She also attended the 50th anniversary of the Leith Community Centre and an International Women’s Day event in the Citadel.

Download the report as PDF here.