Parliament has been in recess, but that doesn’t mean that things have been quiet.
A lot of the last month has been spent in cooperation talks with the Scottish Government. We do not know what the outcome of these will be yet, but we hope that they will provide an opportunity to bring our manifesto to life and secure the kind of changes that are crucial to building a fairer, greener future.
We have hosted a number of events that have been open to party members and will continue to do so. We are optimistic about the talks and the changes that we hope to deliver as a result. The New Zealand Greens, who are in a cooperation agreement with the Government in NZ were very keen to share their experiences of how much more one can get done when in a position of power than is possible from the opposition benches.
At present, my team and I are in the process of employing a casework officer. We hope that they will be in place in time for our next meeting. They will hugely expand our ability to help constituents and to identify issues across Lothian.
We are also looking to secure an office site in Edinburgh. We hope that this will be in Leith and have looked at a property on Easter Road. Unfortunately the budget we are working with is a very limited one for the area, so we may have to delay this until later in the year.
I am in the process of organising stakeholder meetings across the region, and will be approaching our councillor team to arrange a recurring meeting and discuss how I can best work with them to secure the election of more Green councillors next year.
In the last month I have met with the Scottish Trade Union Congress, Scottish Renewables, The Scottish Raptor Study Group, RSPB and John Muir Trust, among others. These were all productive meetings that focused on our agenda and how we can work together. I also met with Oil & Gas UK, who, unsurprisingly, we do not really see eye to eye with.