Edinburgh Council elections: Here's what voting Labour would do for the Capital – Cammy Day

As you read this, we will be just three days away from the local council elections on Thursday, May 5.
Closing the attainment gap between rich and poor in education is a priority for Labour (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)Closing the attainment gap between rich and poor in education is a priority for Labour (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Closing the attainment gap between rich and poor in education is a priority for Labour (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Edinburgh Labour has launched our manifesto for the city, and it is a bold and progressive programme, committing to implement all of the Edinburgh Poverty Commission’s recommendations, work through the challenges to achieve a net-zero carbon emission city by 2030, bring new jobs into the city, and develop brownfield sites to create new sustainable housing – to name only a few of our plans.

Edinburgh is a beautiful city but it has stark health and wealth inequalities. And the Covid-19 pandemic has amplified this. Only a radical re-think of how we operate as a council will start to redress these inequalities.

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We will tackle poverty and inequality. We will build a strong local economy which supports fair work, encourages local spending, and uses the land and property of the council to ensure that all communities benefit. We will also encourage co-operative enterprises to provide services where possible.

We want to support services delivered in our local communities, to get basic services back on track, and will campaign for fair funding for Edinburgh, while fighting cuts in services, working with others to eradicate child poverty by 2030, and tackling the climate emergency by reaching the target of net-zero emissions by the same year.

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The attainment gap in education – which has widened during the pandemic – also needs to be addressed as a priority. This inequality profoundly affects the opportunities for our children and young people.

We need to address this from the early years, which lay the foundations for all learning and social development, throughout nursery, primary and secondary schooling and in play and youth provision.

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We will also maintain our long-standing commitment to keep the country’s best transport company – Lothian Buses – in public ownership, jointly with Edinburgh Trams, ensuring that the city’s sustainable and active travel plans can be achieved. We will not sell off our city’s bus company!

Social care is broken. It needs proper funding. Instead of addressing the funding gap, the SNP Scottish Government has come up with a bureaucratic plan which will centralise care services.

Scottish Labour, in contrast, has a plan for care that concentrates on investing in improved and extended services.

Edinburgh Labour is calling on the Scottish Government to give our city the powers and resources that it needs, and to give powers back to local council level. We will continue to oppose the growing centralisation of our services.

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These elections are about local communities, and local people. And our local Labour councillors will be there to help you.

Together we can build a better future for all our residents and all our communities, so next Thursday please be sure to vote for your local Labour candidate as number one.

Read the full Edinburgh Labour manifesto at edinburghlabour.org/manifesto. Cammy Day is the leader of the Scottish Labour group on the City of Edinburgh Council and a councillor for the Forth Ward