Councillor report

Green councillors report January 2019

Recent policy and ward news from our Green councillors


Gavin Corbett’s main focus has been on the budget for 19-20: both liaising with Green MSPs over the national budget and its impact on council funding and on the details of the council’s own budget on 21 February.

At Housing & Economy Committee, Claire Miller got agreement to a dedicated Empty Homes Officer in order to bring empty homes back into reuse, which is a policy Green councillors have long been pushing for Edinburgh council to adopt. See her video report here.

Steve Burgess met with senior waste managers about the widespread bin collection failure over the festive season – a lessons learned and improvement report will now come to Transport Environment committee.  Steve also met with the Edinburgh Sustainable Development Partnership about how best to engage the Edinburgh Partnership (public sector, voluntary sector and commerce) to take forward city-wide work on sustainability and climate change.

Melanie Main has been pushing for a focus on mental health in the IJB – read her article in the Edinburgh Evening News here. She also attended the Deprivation Interest Group of health professionals to discuss mental health provision.

In transport, Chas Booth has been pressing for a change of policy so more cycle racks are installed on the roadway, instead of the footway. He has also been scrutinising the proposal to extend trams to Newhaven.

In planning, Chas Booth and Alex Staniforth have been pushing for better provision of affordable housing in new planning applications. See here.

In her role as Green representative on COSLA, Mary Campbell attended meetings with leaders which discussed what COSLA would be pushing for in the Scottish Budget. She also attended the COSLA meeting with Derek Mackay where she pushed for the Scottish government to present the council budget settlement in a more realistic manner.

Alex Staniforth made sure that money previously spent on the Mela would continue to be ear-marked for events that celebrate cultural diversity in Edinburgh.

Ward Work

In Leith Walk, Susan Rae celebrated the successful hearing at planning, which went against Drum’s plan for the site. She is working with Save Leith Walk, who are now working on ‘next steps’, which are dependent upon Drums actions. They will continue to push for social housing and large scale community involvement.

Alex Staniforth has been working with other local councillors to ensure communities get the bin stores they have asked their Neighbourhood Partnerships.

Claire Miller has been out at a lot of different meetings and visits in the City Centre ward this month including a tour of the central library, a visit to Edinburgh College and the Granton Waterfront development sites, and a walkabout with residents in Gilmore Place to look at pedestrian accessibility problems.

In Southside-Newington ward, Steve Burgess met with the Imam and representatives of the Iqra Mosque about challenges they are having with parking and roads in their area.

In Morningside, Melanie Main supported friends of Midmar Paddock and attended access forum to successfully request the council start the process of asserting 6 rights of way to protect the land for public use.

In Leith, Chas Booth has met residents to listen to their practical concerns about tram extension, and to try to resolve these concerns.

In Portobello/Craigmillar, Mary Campbell chaired the meeting of the local Area Board and Environmental Forum, where funding for local projects was discussed and the plans for the active travel link between Portobello Promenade and Seafield Promenade were shown, a local improvement that Mary has been pushing for. The route will now be segregated by bollards, to make sure it would not be used as a parking space.

In Fountainbridge-Craiglockhart the local team has been busy delivering ward newsletters to the Craiglockhart area and Cllr Gavin Corbett organised a community workshop, with Edible Estates Edinburgh, on community growing in Hutchison, and also led a community litter-pick of the Caledonian Railway Path in Shandon.

You can download a PDF report here.