Greens invite residents to suggest Edinburgh’s “shovel-ready” projects

If you are not already tired of hearing the phrase “shovel-ready” then expect to be over the next few days and weeks.  But what should Edinburgh’s “shovel-ready” projects be?  Greens want to hear from you!

“Shovel-ready” refers to capital or infrastructure projects which can be developed quickly.  They are highly topical because they involve one-off spending, potentially address the continued failings of infrastructure (stuff like buildings, pavements, community facilities) and provide jobs to a hard-hit construction industry.

The Scottish Government has invited councils to come up with a list of “shovel-ready” projects should extra capital investment become available.  In response the City Council has come up with the list below, by way of illustration.  The Greens don’t think they are bad projects (and some are very good); we are just not convinced that they should be all be top of the list.  So we want to ask people in Edinburgh what they think, using the criteria below…

Green Group Convenor, Steve Burgess said:

“The City needs investment in infrastructure but we need the right kind of investment.  I support potential investment in school sport facilities, street lights and road safety as exactly the kind of projects that enhance the quality of life for residents where they live.  So I want to ask people to identify other such projects – for example, in our schools, libraries, on our footways or cycle-ways and in our parks.  I’d like to see investment – in energy efficiency, for example – that can actually save us money.

“I am sure Edinburgh can come up with a more compelling list”

The City’s Council’s starting list is as follows

  1. Ross Theatre Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens – £5 million
  2. Replacement gyms for 3 primary schools – £3 million 
  3. Placemaking enhancements in Rose Street – £2.4 million
  4. Placemaking enhancements in Waverley Bridge – £1 million
  5. Placemaking enhancements in Charlotte Square – £1 million
  6. Road safety improvements in Lower Granton Road – £0.6 million
  7. Replacing failed street lights – £2 million
  8. Improvements to Calton Hill Observatory – £0.4 million

The criteria that are used are:

  • Does it fit with the Council’s objectives?
  • Is the financial case robust?
  • Can it be delivered in 2013-14? 
  • Is the investment sustainable in the future, without future cost liabilities

What do you think? Over to you!