Councillor report

Green councillors’ report May 2019

Policy and ward work highlights from the Edinburgh Green councillors.

Policy Work

In the Economy portfolio, Claire Miller has been reviewing the council’s economy strategy and will be pushing for the council to create a Green New Deal for Edinburgh, as well as initiating research as to how the council can move away from economic growth measures and instead use wellbeing metrics to measure
economic outcomes.

Gavin Corbett featured in the regular LGIU Scotland bulletin talking about his role as canal champion and finance reform among other topics.

In Education, Mary Campbell has been pushing for a pupil and additional parent representative to be added to the Education, Children and Families committee, and for the religious representatives to no longer have voting rights. She explains why here.

In Transport, Chas Booth has been pushing to strengthen the proposals for a Low Emission Zone to tackle air pollution in the city, while warmly welcoming the City Centre Transformation plans to create a more people-friendly central Edinburgh.

In early May, as the follow-up to the Climate Emergency motion to full Council proposed by Steve Burgess, Corporate, Policy & Strategy committee agreed a net Zero-Carbon target by 2030 for Edinburgh. Then at the end of May, after a passionate deputation from Extinction Rebellion Edinburgh, Transition Edinburgh
and Scottish Youth Climate Strikers, full Council agreed a motion by Steve Burgess that city organisations be approached about setting up a ‘City of Edinburgh Climate Emergency Partnership’ to work toward the 2030 target.

Alex Staniforth attempted once again to ban Donald Trump from Edinburgh. Once again the coalition weren’t bold enough to go that far but we will keep pushing them to be more radical.

In Health and Social Care, Melanie Main gained agreement for: a review of how inequalities are tackled across health and social care services, and the inclusion of actions to tackle climate change emergency to be included in the Strategy for Health and Social Care going forward.

Ward Work

In the city centre ward, Claire Miller is focusing on ensuring good resident engagement on a number of big projects that are all open for feedback at the moment. These include the redesign of West Princes Street Gardens (branded the Quaich Project); cycling infrastructure projects such as the Meadows/Canal link, the Meadows/George Street link, and the East/West link; feedback on the city centre transformation project proposals; and feedback to the Scottish Government’s consultation on short term holiday let which may
result in giving the council powers to regulate this industry. If you’re interested in any of these topics and haven’t filled out the consultations – please get in touch with Claire for more details

In Fountainbridge/Craiglockhart, Gavin Corbett took to a canoe on a canal clean up with social enterprise Bridge8. Over 100 volunteers fished out 222 bags of rubbish from the canal with plastic the main scourge.

Chas Booth and Susan Rae attended the first meeting of the new Leith Neighbourhood Network, and argued for wider resident involvement in council decision making, especially over budgets and financial decisions.

Susan Rae also convened LeithChooses where she is continuing with our manifesto pledge to build and expand on participatory budgeting. She also attended Leith Community’s first Volunteer Fair, Leith Gala Day and the Community Planning Assembly organised by SaveLeithWalk.

In Southside-Newington ward Steve Burgess supported the school climate strikers in securing the go-ahead for their 2,000-strong march from the Meadows down the Royal Mile to Parliament on 24 May.

In Portobello/Craigmillar, Mary Campbell helped organise the AGM for Friends of Porty Prom, which brought together representatives from all the groups working in or around the Prom. She also met with officers, residents and business owners to discuss possible improvements to the Kings Place link between the two sections of the Prom.

In Craigentinny/Duddingston, Alex Staniforth continues to work with Edible Estates to create a community garden in Northfield and possibly Piershill as well.

In Morningside, Melanie Main has been working with residents and officers to agree road safety measures in a second residential street, Braid Crescent, with new road layout with no entry and widened pavements and shared space to be put in place within a year.