As Edinburgh Council sets out its spending plans for Covid recovery, it's clear city needs fair funding from SNP government – Cammy Day

As Covid restrictions continue to ease, we can now visit friends and family and, from today, take full advantage of the city’s numerous quality restaurants, bars and retail outlets.

Monday, 17th May 2021, 7:00 am
Edinburgh's Central Library has already re-opened and the Covid lockdown restrictions are set to be relaxed further today

Many of our businesses have been struggling over the last 14 months, so let’s get out and support them.

All being well, we should see restrictions further removed in the coming weeks. Please keep up the good work and enjoy your new-found liberty within the latest regulations.

Last week saw the start of our libraries re-opening with Central, Central Children’s, Craigmillar, Drumbrae, Fountainbridge, Kirkliston, McDonald Road and Stockbridge all now open.

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Wester Hailes library opens today and Gillmerton from next Monday with the others opening on a phased basis thereafter. Please book a time to visit, unless you’re simply returning books or collecting Hey Girls sanitary products.

We’ve seen many of our libraries and other community assets play their part in the fight against Covid, providing both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing facilities across the city.

While of, course, we look forward to these reopening for their normal purpose, this is just another example of our city’s city resilience throughout this crisis and I want to pay tribute to the many council colleagues who have stepped up to plan and operate these centres as such short notice.

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Elsewhere, the popular City Art Centre reopens today, and you can enjoy exhibitions of Bright Shadows: Scottish Art in the 1920s and a ground-breaking retrospective, Charles H Mackie: Colour and Light. Two further exhibitions will open later in the month: Marine: Ian Hamilton Finlay (Saturday 22 May) and Islander: The paintings of Donald Smith (Saturday 29 May).

Turning to the Scottish election, I would like to thank the many candidates who stood and welcome the many MSPs for Edinburgh – in particular to returning MSPs Daniel Johnson MSP and Sarah Boyack MSP. And special congratulations to Foysol Choudhury MSP who’s been a hard-working and well-known face in Edinburgh for many years, most recently as chair of the Edinburgh & Lothians Regional Equality Council (ELREC). A great team for Edinburgh Labour!

As we finalise our council spending plans for the year ahead, Edinburgh Labour will continue to push for fair funding for our Capital city – prioritising investment in measures to alleviate poverty, taking action on climate change and protecting the most vulnerable in our city. Our ask, once again, is that all councillors stand up for Edinburgh and support our calls for fairer funding from the SNP government.

It seems the government got it wrong by committing to a new standalone city centre Gaelic medium education (GME) school. My colleagues have worked tirelessly to ensure the best outcome for a new Liberton High School, working closely with the GME community on the best way forward. At no point have the SNP government suggested any alternative, so I look forward to their clarification on this matter, and support for our plans.

And, finally, as part of our ambitious £1.5 billion Waterfront regeneration project, we’ll soon see the lighting up of the iconic Granton Gasholder in partnership with Edinburgh College. So, keep your eyes focused on the Forth!

Cammy Day is councillor for the Forth ward and leader of the Labour group

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