Green councillors set Edinburgh budget challenge

Edinburgh’s council budget for 2014-15 needs to protect the city and its people; invest in services and jobs; and be as open as possible to good ideas. 

That’s the reaction of the city’s six-strong Green councillor group, as the City Council publishes its draft budget for next year.

Green Finance Spokesperson, Cllr Gavin Corbett said:

“Edinburgh’s budget is over a billion pounds a year.  That’s a lot of money to help protect, invest in and engage with the city.

“Greens want to see the budget protect the most disadvantaged people in Edinburgh from the UK Government’s harsh welfare cuts – like the bedroom tax and disability benefits.  And we want to see Edinburgh itself protected, so that we preserve what is special about the capital, like our unique buildings and green spaces.

“I also want to see an emphasis on investment – helping local businesses and social enterprises on projects which create long term, secure green jobs – in renewable energy, tackling fuel poverty, growing more food in the wider region; and a whole host of others.

“And finally, there’s a “how” to the budget as well as a “what”.  In Leith, my Green colleague, Maggie Chapman, has been very involved in developing “£eith Decides” – a way in which local people themselves decide how money is spent in the area.  The council’s decision to publish a draft budget in September is very welcome and a step along the way to opening up the budget to new ideas. But it is only a step.”