Councillor report

Green Councillors’ report for March 2022

Edinburgh Council is winding down its political decision making prior to the pre-election period that starts on 14 April before the election on 5 May.

City of Edinburgh full council has had its last meeting of this council term last week. The significant contribution to the council over the last 5 years by Cllrs Melanie Main and Mary Campbell, the two Green councillors who are standing down in May, was highlighted at the meeting. They will be sorely missed!

Mary Campbell concluded her last two committees in her term as a councillor. In Education, she worked to get a successful cross party amendment to continue investigating site options for a Gaelic medium education secondary school and to continue the engagement with the Gaelic community. In Governance Risk & Best Value committee, she scrutinised a whistleblowing report into serious issues within the council, and pushed for support for victims.

Cllr Claire Miller is a board member of Transport for Edinburgh, and in this role she has been asking for more information about the company’s plans to transition from diesel to electric buses. The board received a presentation from Lothian Buses at their last meeting, and she will be visiting the central depot to see the work they are doing to trial electric buses.

On Planning committee, Chas Booth and Alex Staniforth opposed a recent application to build in the Green belt at Cammo, but unfortunately the developer has already appealed to the Scottish Government, claiming the council did not decide the application quickly enough.

Alex Staniforth successfully put a motion to full council on reviewing the Taxicard scheme which allows disabled people who find bus travel difficult to get around the city without the need to own a car.

Steve Burgess brought a couple of proposals to full council this month that were agreed: the first on the council response to the ‘dire warning’ from the UN IPCC in February on climate change, the second taking a step towards council endorsement of the ‘Plant-based Treaty’.

Ward activity

In Portobello/Craigmillar, Mary has been supporting residents on a variety of case work, from roads and parks to cycle routes and housing issues. She also is raising a number of concerns raised by Bingham residents, and trying to get them resolved. She was also delighted to get news that works have been confirmed for Portobello Town Hall, which means the community should be in and running the space this year.

In the City Centre ward, Claire met with the design team who are working on the George Street redesign project for a site visit and walking meeting, and talked about ways in which the new streetscape could increase women’s safety in the city.

In Leith ward, Chas Booth has been discussing with local residents and council officers how the iconic Rainbow Bridge in Newhaven could be made safe and reopened, following its recent closure on safety grounds.

In Craigentinny-Duddingston ward, Alex has been working for improvements to the Willowbrae sheltered housing complex.

In Southside-Newington, Steve has been liaising with council officers about the creation of a community growing space in Prestonfield and along with Joan Carter of Southside Community Council continuing to facilitate constructive communications between residents and the Holyrood Distillery at St Leonard’s over environmental impacts.