Greens proposal to break capital political logjam

Green councillors have outlined a interim proposal to break the political logjam which has persisted in Edinburgh since the council election on 4 May.

With a UK election on 8 June on the horizon, full and frank discussion has been hampered as other parties jostle for position.

Now the eight-strong Green group of councillors has said it intends to put forward a set of proposals for the full council meeting on Thursday (25 May) which will see the council take decisions and have broad-based leadership until after the UK election is over. At that point proper discussions on forming a council administration can take place. The Greens have already gone on record as believing that an SNP-Labour led council, with Green backing on a policy by policy basis, is the best arrangmemt for Edinburgh.

Green Councillor Steve Burgess said:

“The current logjam in the city is a result of the general election and political manoeuvring by other parties to gain advantage. It has nothing to do with the best interests of the city and the people who need council services.

“As Greens we are as frustrated by that as anyone else but we also recognise that it is there until 8 June. So we are making a proposal which gives the city the leadership it needs and allows decisions to be made, on a temporary basis, until the main council meeting at the end of June puts more robust arrangements in place.

“Firstly, we want to see the more legally focused committees set up this week: planning, licensing sub-committee and licensing board and the integrated joint board on health and social care. That will allow decisions in those areas to be made.

“Secondly, to plug the leadership gap, we propose an all party leadership group, with one member from each of the 5 parties, to give a steer to senior officers on key decisions until the end of June.

“Thirdly, we propose some modest reforms to the way the council does business in the long term: that committee membership should reflect the diversity of the council as a whole; that the voting decisions of all councillors should be recorded and publicly available; and that the Education Committee should have two parents and one senior pupil sitting on it.

“Greens want Edinburgh to move forward and to do so in a way which strengthens decision-making and leadership.”