Dan Heap – Sighthill/Gorgie
- Dan has been working on playparks at the local and city level. In Saughton Park, he’s working to get more swings for younger children, at the request of residents. He also raised the issue of damage at the Stewart Terrace playparks to the Council Leader. At September’s full council, he amended a motion to ensure that council officers report back to Councillors on whether levels of deprivation are considered when allocating funds for playparks renovation (item 8.4).
- In the Culture and Communities Committee, he is exploring what is being done to provide library resources for Ukrainian refugees. Stemming from that work, at the start of October, he will bring a motion to ask officers to report on how the library service develops its resources to reflect Edinburgh’s diversity, with a particular focus on the needs of refugees, asylum seekers, BAME residents and people whose first language is not English.
- Dan is also meeting Council officers to discuss the forthcoming 20 minute neighbourhood project in Dalry and Gorgie and working with LOVE Gorgie Farm on its future plans for this much-loved Edinburgh institution.
Ben Parker – Morningside
This month Ben has:
- Been elected as Co-Convenor of the Green group alongside Cllr Alys Mumford at the group EGM.
- Passed a motion at Full Council (25th August) about extreme heat and climate adaptation (item 8.20), calling for a report to come to committee outlining measures the council should take to accelerate efforts to adapt the city for periods of extreme heat.
- Passed an amendment at Full Council (25th August) strengthening a Liberal Democrat motion about air quality in primary schools (item 8.15), pointing out the link between this and active travel policy.
- Passed 3 amendments at Policy & Sustainability committee (30th August) to:
- Ensure plant-based foods are considered as part of the city’s sustainable food strategies (item 7.7).
- Embed a climate justice approach into a £10 million retrofitting programme (item 7.12).
- Improve guidance in schools around waste reduction, as part of a wider recycling scheme (item 7.10).
- Supported Friends of Meadows and Bruntsfield Links to secure access to a water source for tree watering after the group were in touch asking for help.
- Worked with Morningside Community Council to promote the results of their recent travel survey with Council Officers and secured meetings in the diary to discuss how to advance those results.
- Spoken at the Lothian Young Greens event with Cllr Jule Bandel about young people in politics, and the Edinburgh Branch campaigns event.
- Been nominated as the Cllr representative for Morningside on the Local Community Planning Partnership and joined his first meeting in that capacity.
Leith – Chas Booth
- In Leith, Chas Booth has been working to prevent demolition of the Pride Bridge at Lindsay Road, and work towards its reopening for walkers, wheelers & cyclists.
- In Planning Committee, Chas Booth has been pushing to revise the definition of ‘affordable housing’ (item 7.1) so it actually meets the needs of people on the lowest incomes.
Alex Staniforth – Craigentinny/Duddingston
Over the last month Alex has:
- Co-convened the group through the activities around the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
- Written to the chief constable (as community safety spokesperson) to express dismay at the heavy-handed policing around the above and asked for an internal investigation.
- Ensured that sanitary bins in men’s toilets will be considered as part of next year’s budget.
- Taken the first steps towards creating a charity which aims to bring 9 Loaning Road into community ownership.
- Put forward a motion to twin Edinburgh with Gaza (item 7.2) to show solidarity with Palestine. It failed to pass but it was agreed that the Edinburgh Partnership would look at ways in which it could support Palestine.
Steve Burgess – Southside/Newington
- At Education committee, Steve Burgess won committee backing for a report on outdoor learning in Edinburgh schools (item 9.2), an issue highlighted in May’s Green manifesto
- Steve also got agreement from the committee to urgently re-establish the council’s ‘Gaelic Implementation Group’ (item 7.4) to investigate provision of a Gaelic high school in Edinburgh.
- In Southside-Newington ward, Steve has been talking with local people about turning a disused bowling green into a community growing space.
Claire Miller – City Centre
- In the transport portfolio, Claire Miller has been researching why only 40% of primary schools in Edinburgh are offering Bikeability at level 1 & 2 when they are supported to provide it for free by Cycling Scotland. She won unanimous support for her motion at full council on 22 September (item 8.8) calling for the council to aim to reach 100% provision so that all primary school pupils have the opportunity to do this basic training.
- In a vote at the Transport & Environment Committee (item 7.7) Claire was successful in securing all of the remaining “Spaces for People” schemes for a trial period which will involve community feedback on ways in which they can be adjusted or improved before the council considers making them permanent or removing them.
- In health & social care, Claire has attended her first committee meetings under the Integration Joint Board, looking at issues such as services for people with learning disabilities, the winter vaccination programme last year and self-directed support for people receiving care. With an extremely challenging financial outlook, Claire has been working towards a better understanding of how the health & social care budget is determined, so that the best possible case can be made to fund these essential services.
- In the city centre ward, Claire visited North Bridge for a tour of the works (both on and suspended underneath the bridge). As well as keeping abreast of the renovations, she is looking to influence the council to take some of the traffic off this route when the works are complete, hoping to make it a better place to walk, wheel and cycle when the bridge finally re-opens, rather than reverting back to four lanes of traffic.
- Also in the city centre ward, Claire has been looking in detail at the proposed changes for cycling near tram lines at junctions on Princes Street, and pressing the council officers to completely overhaul these junctions in order to segregate and fully mitigate the risks to cyclists.
Susan Rae – Leith Walk
This month Susan has:
- Passed an amendment (on item 8.7) which stopped the proposed cancellation of an Edinburgh Council tenants survey which will now be re-focussed on the cost of living crisis and which will for the first time include Living Rent members.
- Passed a motion on the cost of living crisis at Full Council which included developing an ‘energy bank’ along the lines of a food bank, but for power keys & cards.
- Locally, Susan joined the Climate Fair on Leith Links with other Green councillors and has also been out at various demos and strikes supporting striking workers.
- Susan was also elected as Co-Convenor of the (national) Association of Scottish Green Councillors.
Alys Mumford – Portobello/Craigmillar
- Alys was re-elected as Co-Convener of the group, and led the team through the tortuous process of updating our standing orders at our Extraordinary General Meeting in September.
- At the special Full Council meeting dedicated to the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, Alys spoke on behalf of the group and raised concerns about the repression of freedom of speech in the city centre following protests. She also submitted an emergency motion to the next Full Council asking for a report on the costs of Operation Unicorn to the City of Edinburgh. The Lord Provost refused to hear this motion but it will be coming to the Full Council meeting in October.
- Alys is the Scottish Green Party Representative on CoSLA so has been continuing to work on local government pay deals, as well as national responses to the cost of living and supporting Ukranian refugees.
- Locally, parking and traffic has been the talk of the town with a public meeting from Portobello Community Council focusing on the proposed Controlled Parking Zone, and meetings with local residents about the ETRO on Brunstane Road (you can respond to the consultation saying we should keep the road closed here: Coillesdene Area Traffic Calming – City of Edinburgh Council – Citizen Space)
Jule Bandel – Inverleith
- Jule brought two addenda at Full Council (items 7.2 and 8.3), both of which passed. The first one called on officers to let young people co-design the participatory space intended for them, while the second addendum focused on finding ways to make sure pedestrians do not have to trip over EV charging cables.
- At Transport and Environment Committee, she successfully got Council to submit a stronger and more ambitious response to the consultation on the Circular Economy Bill that is being taken forward in the Scottish Parliament as part of Lorna Slater MSP’s ministerial portfolio (item 7.4 here: (Public Pack) Motions and Amendments Agenda Supplement for Transport and Environment Committee, 18/08/2022 10:00 (edinburgh.gov.uk)).
- Locally, she met with residents at Veitch’s Square to explore how access routes can be made safer, wrote to and met with Lothian Buses to advocate for the 42 bus service that is being withdrawn, and asked the Inverleith Neighbourhood Network to look into the possibility of using a participatory budgeting process to distribute their grant funding.
Kayleigh O’Neill – Forth
This month Kayleigh has:
- Joined other Cllrs for the march for Trans Equality from the City Chambers to Holyrood.
- Passed a motion at Full Council looking at the rollout of Adult Disability Payment (ADP) (item 8.16).
- Spoke at Edinburgh Napier University about life in politics post-graduation.
- Continued to press the Council and convenor of Transport & Environment Committee over the issue of pavement parking.