Edinburgh councillor's allegedly abusive behaviour is shocking if true – Cammy Day

Recently you will have seen coverage of the independent investigation into serious sexual assaults by a former member of council staff.

Complaints have been made about an unnamed councillor's behaviour
Complaints have been made about an unnamed councillor's behaviour

As I did last week, I will take this opportunity to publicly apologise for the failings of senior officers and the council to protect the survivors.

The council appointed Susanne Tanner QC, supported by Pinsent Masons legal team, to lead a fully independent investigation without interference from any individuals or parties.

I want to thank Ms Tanner and her team for their professionalism in dealing with a hugely sensitive issue and supporting survivors to be listened to at long last.

Unfortunately, we were also advised of allegations that, during the private sessions set up to allow councillors to read the full report (which contained disturbing evidence of serious abuse against women, both verbal and physical), a councillor was abusive towards two young female members of the Pinsent Masons legal team.

This information has, of course, come as a shock to all councillors, and should this prove to be true whoever that individual is should hang their head in shame.

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It would be totally unacceptable for a senior politician to attack anyone, let alone young females, for simply doing their job. It would also be a horrible irony given the nature of the inquiry and its findings and, in any other profession, that sort of behaviour would surely lead to dismissal.

The report readings were attended by several councillors at each session and, if this did happen, it saddens me to think that they may have sat quietly on the sidelines and failed to challenge any unacceptable behaviour by another councillor. They should also ask themselves what they could do to make up for any failure to intervene.

Granton cooking on gas

In brighter news, I was really pleased to learn last week that the UK government Levelling up Fund has awarded nearly £17 million to the Granton Waterfront to allow us to progress with key parts of the £1.3 billion masterplan for the area.

With the refurbishment of Caroline Park railway station now underway, creating a hub for the wider community, and new homes under construction at Western Villages, our ambitious plans for a new waterfront community the size of the New Town are taking shape.

Lead the change

With world leaders in Edinburgh and Glasgow this week for COP26 events, it has been a whirlwind week of events for me: green investment, sustainable jobs and our own ambition for a net-zero city by 2030 were brought to life courtesy of an excellent two-day Edinburgh summit run in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce.

Planning for this event has been a huge undertaking, and officers from across the council have been gearing up to support it for many months. We’ve already seen the impact it’s had here, with many of the leaders and delegates staying in the Capital, and I’d encourage you to continue planning ahead if you’re travelling in and around the city. Visit www.netzeroedinburgh.org or follow @edintravel on Twitter for the latest travel news.

The world is now looking for real progress and I hope Edinburgh can become a leader in the fight against climate change.

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