Let’s start with some great news for the city: the council has managed to purchase the former National Grid site in Granton – opening the door to fantastic opportunities for much-needed new housing.
Under current proposals, we will deliver around 4,000 houses, alongside museums, galleries, community hubs and much more – providing long overdue regeneration to the north of the city.
It’s time to make North Edinburgh the next go-to place to live and work! We need to work with the local community to explore opportunities for the gas tower: lighting up this iconic local structure as an open-air performance area, market stalls – the opportunities are endless.
I look forward to taking this forward and delivering a ‘2050 vision’ for the Granton Waterfront.
It’s not long until our summer Festivals and we will soon be welcoming millions of people from across the world to join us and celebrate culture, comedy, music, dance and more in our wonderful city.
In particular, I welcome the Edinburgh International Jazz and Blues festivals reaching out into communities, attracting new audiences and looking for the next generation of jazz and blues stars.
The other side to welcoming so many guests each year is undoubtedly the impact they have on our services. It’s inevitable.
This is why we are continuing to develop plans to levy a small nightly charge on tourists.
We are working closely with key stakeholders across the industry and elsewhere to deliver the best and most workable model that benefits us all: enhancing the city’s cultural offerings, infrastructure and global city promotion. I again call on the Scottish Government to listen to the people of Edinburgh and give us the power to introduce such a levy.
In the coming months, we will launch some work around the city’s plans for a Poverty & Equality Commission. You only have to count the number of cranes on our skyline to see that development in Edinburgh’s economy is booming but it can’t be growth at any cost and the time has come to take a good look at why not all of our residents are sharing in this success.
READ MORE: 50,000 Edinburgh families live ‘in poverty’
I look forward, therefore, to taking this work forward with the council, business, voluntary sector, academics and local communities to see what more this strong, vibrant city can do to help those who need a bit more support along the way.
You will no doubt have heard of plans to extend the success of Edinburgh Trams through the most densely populated area of the city, Leith and on to Newhaven, potentially opening up further developments in the north of the city. We’re currently consulting on the specifics of plans and have enjoyed a great response so far, with more than 2,000 people having their say. The consultation runs until the weekend (29 April) and I would encourage you to play your part in this, if you haven’t already.
Finally, as this article goes to print, I hope to have completed my first (and hopefully last!) London Marathon. My huge thanks to my friend and running mate, Cllr Donald Wilson, for all his support and encouragement. I am supporting Alzheimer Scotland – if you fancy sponsoring me, you can do so online at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/CammyDay. Thanks!