As Covid restrictions have increased during the period of Sept/Oct, Green councillors have been taking on a number of challenges and a number of causes for their constituents.
Transport continues to be a key issue as the city engages in a Spaces for People program to give space for social distancing to pedestrians and cyclists and make our streets as Covid-safe as possible. Claire Miller pressed the Transport Convenor on the number of bike hangars being installed for secure on-street bike parking and was able to confirm that the hangars will be prioritised where there is an under provision of car parking, so that residents will be enabled to make the change from car to bike ownership.
In Policy and Sustainability Committee the co-convenors of the Green group, Melanie Main and Alex Staniforth, have been consistently pushing for better public toilet policies and recently got confirmation that there will be a new public toilet strategy coming to councillors as well as ensuring that there will be better signage for publicly accessible toilets that do exist.
At last full council the Green group successfully proposed a motion to ensure that the council would work for student welfare in the face of students being treated quite poorly at the start of term and over the weekend of the 25th September.
Also at full council Steve Burgess questioned the council leader about the potential for third sector organisations to provide outdoor learning for schools and got a commitment that the current suspension would be reviewed and questioned the Transport and Environment convenor about the woeful lack of recycling facilities in schools.
At Finance Committee Gavin Corbett secured support for up to £2m of “Spend to Save” money to be allocated to Green Recovery projects and challenged plans to build a new hotel linked to the EICC.
In the wards
In the city centre, Claire Miller has been working with Tollcross Parent Council on safer walking and cycling to school – a crossing patrol on Ponton Street and a safer entrance at East Fountainbridge.
In Fountainbridge-Craiglockhart Gavin Corbett took part in the AGM of Water of Leith Conservation Trust and also supported a local school student in completing a three month volunteering project in Harrison Park.
Susan Rae assisted in the launch of the latest iteration of LeithChooses.
Alex Staniforth helped answer questions and formulate strategy for the Craigentinny & Duddingston by-election which the entire councillor team hopes will result in Ben Parker joining us in future councillor reports!