from Alys Mumford and Ben Parker (Green group Co-Conveners)
Highlights from the month
Asked to pick one highlight from the month, our councillors said:
“I’ve been busy this month not only on the Edinburgh budget but also working with CoSLA on teacher pay negotiations and lobbying nationally for local budget funding – not much progress, but plenty of meetings!”
“I was delighted to pass a motion calling on the Council to declare a Nature Emergency at Full Council on 9th February – watch this video to find out more.”
“Locally, I’ve officially objected to Jocks Lodge student housing which would be too large and mean the demolition of a popular local pub, The Willow.”
“I hosted my first event as councillor with Trinity Academy as part of their Erasmus+ programme on ‘Reframing perspectives on sustainability.’ Lorna Slater also attended in her role as Circular Economy Minister as we were talking all things plastic.”
“With Transport and Environment Committee approving several major strategies to be put to public consultation, I made the case for being clear about what we are consulting on – and, importantly, what is no longer up for debate, such as our commitment to making it easier to walk, wheel, and cycle – to avoid disillusion among residents.”
“I spoke at the Education Committee to outline to committee members the importance of Gorgie Farm being run by a public, third or community sector operator, and not for private profit. I was also pleased to have my motion on free and reduced ticket schemes for cultural events be passed by Full Council.”
“At Education committee, I won support for a report on how we can enhance ‘Learning for Sustainability and the Climate Emergency’ in council schools (motion 9.1). I’ve asked the Education convenor for a round–table discussion with key stakeholders to inform the report.
“I’ve been pressing for more scrutiny and democracy in the health & social care portfolio where a lot of decisions are being made by officers instead of elected councillors. At full council in February, I was pleased to get a motion passed with cross party support in order to get more transparency of decision making on contracts with private providers of care. I also spoke on a report about the Drumbrae Care Home which I’ve done a lot of work on recently. You can watch my contribution on the webcast and you can read my amendment in full on p.20.”
Other committee activity and things to look out for in the coming month
Transport and Environment is expecting an update report on the Workplace Parking Levy at our next meeting on 2nd March. Implementing a WPL was one of our manifesto pledges and will deliver more funding for our local services, and encourage more people to use active travel or public transport to get to work.
Culture and Communities will likely hear the announcement on the new owner of the Filmhouse building in the coming month, as well as the announcement of the new operator of Gorgie Farm. They are also likely to get news about when/whether the King’s Theatre refurbishment will go ahead.
At Planning Committee, our councillors are working on our motion regarding inclusive and feminist city planning, inspired by Green councillor Holly Bruce’s ‘Feminist Town Planning’ motion to Glasgow City Council.
Finally, the Edinburgh Integration Joint Board will be setting the budget for health and social care in Edinburgh next month with a huge pressure to cut spending and services.