Edinburgh Council: After a whirlwind of a week, I'm sure Labour and other parties can work together for good of the Capital – Cammy Day

It’s just over a week since I was appointed as leader of the City of Edinburgh Council, and it’s been a whirlwind of a week.

By Cammy Day
Monday, 6th June 2022, 4:55 am
Continuing the work to extend the tram lines to Newhaven will be one focus of the new Edinburgh Council
Continuing the work to extend the tram lines to Newhaven will be one focus of the new Edinburgh Council

I’m so proud to lead the city that is my home and, along with the 62 other councillors from all parties, we will strive to do the best for our Capital city.

Last Friday I attended Cosla, bringing together local authorities from across Scotland, responding to the SNP/Green government with one voice.

Issues around fair pay settlement for our workforce, the need for a tourist levy and additional support to Ukrainian refugees were amongst the many issues discussed.

Over the weekend, we attended the ‘Kirking of the Council’ at St Giles to welcome the new Lord Provost and councillors to serve the city.

Last week, I met trade union colleagues and saw the excellent work of Lothian Buses. I also witnessed the fantastic work of council staff, Volunteer Edinburgh and many businesses to support those who have arrived from Ukraine. Seeing the Welcome Hub first hand brought home the sheer scale of our city’s ongoing response to this crisis.

It was so moving to hear the lengths to which our staff and volunteers are going to in order to provide the best possible welcome to our Ukrainian guests as they take their first steps towards a safe life in Scotland. Some are working incredibly long hours, seven days a week, to be there to help and ensure everyone can get a roof over their head regardless of the time of day.

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The team have already welcomed more than 2,000 people through the Hub, with the majority of arrivals in the country landing in Edinburgh. The scale of support we need to offer is huge: from accommodation, interpretation and education to host checks, health and social care, transport, counselling and financial advice.

The private sector’s response has been outstanding, with many companies offering useful donations like nappies, buggies, shoes or sim cards.

The way in which the city has come together to support people in such desperate need of our help fills me with hope and pride and I have no doubt we’ll continue to pull out all the stops for as long as it takes.

As the council gets back to business after the recent elections, we’re committed to addressing the issues that matter the most to the people of Edinburgh, making the case to the SNP and Green government for the funding we deserve as a Capital city, and protecting our front-line services, taking forward the work of the Poverty Commission to tackle the cost-of-living crisis, promoting fair work and ensuring our children and young people get the best possible start in life.

We’ll continue to focus on the fight against climate change and our ambitious target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2030, boosting our affordable house-building programme, taking the trams to Newhaven and delivering the pioneering regeneration of the Granton Waterfront and north Edinburgh.

I’m confident our collaborative approach will lead to far more consensual and co-operative decision-making, and I look forward to working closely across all parties, delivering positive changes and policies for the good of our great Capital city and its residents.

I hope we can work to build a better Edinburgh, together.

Cammy Day is Scottish Labour councillor for Forth