Councillor report

Green Councillors’ report for January 2022

As Edinburgh Council enters the new year, thoughts are beginning to turn to the upcoming Council budget and then the next Council election in May.

City-wide activity

Council committees are back up and running and Green Cllrs are getting stuck in as usual….

In Education, Mary Campbell drafted a motion that called for support for school staff and recognition of the difficult circumstances they are operating under, which was agreed at committee. The motion called for a report to Committee on; the ways it can increase support for PSAs, requested that officers look at ways to reduce workload on schools and asked for a letter to be written to Government calling for suspension of inspections during this school term.

In the Transport portfolio, Claire Miller attended the SEStran board meeting, which is the regional transport planning body and examined a proposal to trial a combination of a mobility hub, “demand responsive transport” and “mobility as a service” in an area of East Lothian which is poorly served by public transport and consequently has very high car use. By increasing uptake of public transport through new approaches the region as a whole will benefit, and a pilot project like this will also provide Edinburgh with more information on how this might be used in our council area.

In Planning, Chas Booth and Alex Staniforth combined with councillors of other parties to vote down an application for a new drive-through coffee shop in Pilton.

Steve Burgess was successful in getting full Council agreement to sign up to the global ‘Fossil Fuels Non-Proliferation Treaty’ campaign and also for a report on signing up to the national Household Recycling Charter. Steve also unsuccessfully opposed a proposal to change the governance of the Pensions committee.

Ward activity

Things have been busy in Portobello/Craigmillar, and Mary has been working on a variety of issues including path maintenance, housing issues, a new licensed premises that is causing residents concerns, threats to a historic tree from a new development, and supporting residents of a new build dealing with issues around their large bin store.

In the City Centre ward, Claire joined a panel debate hosted by St Columba’s by the Castle church to talk about the practical challenges ahead for politicians following the COP26 pledges.

In Leith, Chas Booth has been working with the community council, local residents and council officers on a masterplan process to improve Leith Links park.

In Southside-Newington ward, Steve and the community council have been supporting dialogue between residents and the Holyrood Distillery at St Leonard’s where noise, smell and heavy vehicle movements are causing serious concern.