Edinburgh Council budget: Amid SNP and Tory cuts, Labour has got the right priorities – Cammy Day

As you read this, we’ll be preparing to set our budget for 2022/23 at this week’s council meeting.

Edinburgh Council is looking for the public's views on how the iconic Granton gasholder and surrounding area can be developed into publicly accessible space (Picture: Ian Rutherford)
Edinburgh Council is looking for the public's views on how the iconic Granton gasholder and surrounding area can be developed into publicly accessible space (Picture: Ian Rutherford)

Despite over a decade of cuts from the SNP and continued austerity measures from the UK government while the Tories party, we’ll deliver a budget that protects frontline services, protects terms and conditions of council staff, while continuing to help Edinburgh residents most in need of our support.

We’ll push ahead with our commitment to alleviate poverty, doing all we can to support the least well-off in our city so they can have a fairer and more comfortable standard of living. With continued cuts to benefits, this remains a real challenge.

We’ll also continue to work with our partners to deliver our net-zero carbon emissions target of 2030 and are asking everyone in our city to play their part.

We’re putting our money where our mouths are, significantly reducing our own emissions, while investing heavily in active travel, sustainable transport, improving our parks and greenspaces and committing £6 million more into our roads and pavements.

It all adds up

Rising home energy costs are leaving many people across Edinburgh worried about how they will pay their bills, which is why we’ve teamed up with Changeworks and Home Energy Scotland to launch a new energy campaign.

Launched last week, the campaign seeks to support people experiencing, or most at risk from, fuel poverty with energy savings advice so they can save money on their bills.

As well as helping residents find out if they’re eligible for grants or funding for energy efficiency home improvements, help is also being offered to people dealing with fuel debt and high energy prices. Please visit www.edinburgh.gov.uk/energyadvice for more information.

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Return of our libraries

While, of course, we support the need for Covid testing in our communities, this can’t be at the continued expense of much-loved libraries and I recently wrote to the government to ask for them back.

I’m pleased then to report that the government has now agreed to this request and I look forward to the re-opening of Newington, Sighthill, Leith and Oxgangs libraries as soon as possible.

Our new Waterfront

Recently I updated readers on the progress of our Granton Waterfront plans, with Caroline Park Railway station undergoing a complete £4.75m investment and 444 new homes planned for Western Villages.

We’re now looking for your thoughts and ideas on how the iconic Granton gasholder and landscape around can be developed into publicly accessible space.

Visit our website for more information about the Granton Gasholder Park restoration.

Election time

With the local council elections just over ten weeks away, and Edinburgh’s Labour candidates hitting the streets and speaking to voters, it’s important that you elect the best local people to represent you.

When you cast your vote on May 5, you’ll be voting for local councillors to represent your ward, with three or four elected in each. The councillors you elect will make important decisions on your local services, such as education, social care, waste management, libraries, planning and much more.

If you want to speak to your local councillor on any issues within the council, please get in touch, and please make sure you’re registered to vote.

Cammy Day is a councillor for the Forth ward and Edinburgh Council’s Scottish Labour group leader

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