Councillor report

Green councillors’ report for Apr 2024

25 March to 26 April


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

The Council was in recess over Easter, and it was brilliant to see so many of you at party conference (and the amazing social, thank you Committee for all your work organising it!)

We are writing this update in the aftermath of the Bute House Agreement ending so – like you all we’re sure – this has been occupying a lot of our thoughts and time over the past few weeks. The scrapping of the climate targets in particular has caused some concern here as we have been fighting hard to maintain climate targets in Edinburgh in the face of Tory attacks. Of course, these are very different types of targets, as they are for the Council area, and are not legally binding. But we are still expecting some renewed attacks on climate action off the back of national politics.

In the Edinburgh group, we are beginning to think about our AGM in June, which will probably see a shift in some of the portfolios we hold and the committees we all sit on, as well as new co-conveners for the group as we come to the end of our 2-year term. Watch this space to see who comes forward!

Councillor highlights from the month

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

Alys Mumford

Chief Executive Recruitment has been a focus this month, with a lot of pressure on the decision to find someone with the right values to lead the city. Fingers crossed!

Ben Parker

Ben was pleased to attend a roundtable discussion with other Councillors and organisations across the city to look at how to promote the circular economy within the Council / city, following his motion to Full Council last year – there are lots of opportunities in the housing service in particular which will be picked up through committee!

Susan Rae

Susan has been working on a motion for Full Council to restore the bust of Jean Watson to her rightful place in the City Art Centre.

Jule Bandel

Jule secured support from Transport and Environment Committee to develop a policy that would discourage SUVs in the city by increasing parking charges.

Kayleigh O’Neill

Kayleigh has had another productive meeting of the COSLA Access to Elected Office Working Group this month. Check out her ‘day in the life of a Green Councillor’ video here.

Steve Burgess

Steve has been working with council officers on a pilot project he instigated in Southside Newington ward to introduce new trees along the roadside – this will hopefully see more street trees across the city.

Claire Miller

Through her position on the Integration Joint Board, Claire has been pressing for more information on the pause to new prescriptions for young transgender people, and is working closely with Gillian Mackay and Green Councillor Lana Reid-McConnell to get clarity on when gender identity healthcare services will fully resume.

Alex Staniforth

Alex has been ensuring the city’s CCTV cameras do not have security problems or ethical issues around their manufacture. In his ward he has been seeking to widen the path at Abbey Lane which has been constructed by development there.

Chas Booth

Chas successfully brought a motion to Planning Committee asking Council officers to ensure that cycle parking in new developments is addressed early in the design process to ensure it is both accessible and creates provision for future levels of cycling.

Dan Heap

Dan has been working on progressing our plans for Firework Control Zones. This is a busy and ongoing task, as the timescale is so tight to get the plans in place for November 5.

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

Finance & Resources

Alys is bringing a motion about the closure of the Visit Scotland Centre on the Royal Mile, asking officers how the Council could support it staying open and perhaps using it as an opportunity to support things like third-sector organisations or independent tour guides.

Transport & Environment

It’s all things “waste” at this month’s Transport and Environment Committee as Ben is bringing a motion to look at the impact of changes relating to Extended Producer Responsibility for packaging which are going through the Scottish / UK Governments and which will deliver additional funds to the Council. He is exploring how these could be used to support community-based waste reduction / circular economy initiatives in the city. Meanwhile, Jule is bringing a motion looking at how the Council supports the waste hierarchy more broadly.


The Scottish Government’s report on City Plan 2030 has been sent to the Council, and Planning Committee will examine the report in June.