Edinburgh is a great city with big ambitions! But some parties just want to indulge in student politics – Cammy Day

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Scotland’s Capital is already one of the UK's greenest cities, with nearly 200 parks and open spaces, and more trees than people

Not only is our city visually stunning, it’s walkable, filled with historical charm and green spaces whilst being diverse and progressive in its outlook. That’s not to mention our globally renowned cultural scene, programme of festivals and thriving hospitality industry. All these factors make Edinburgh a truly incredible city to live in.

It's always nice to hear others feel the same way too. Only this week, Edinburgh topped the Totaljobs Quality of Living Index which reveals the cities where workers can find the best work-life balance in the UK. Their research found that our residents enjoyed the best commute times, high rates of local happiness, and access to affordable housing. I’m incredibly proud to call Edinburgh my home and it’s clear to me why we have been named the best in the country and why so many people chose to live and work in the Capital.

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Time Out has also ranked Edinburgh as the best city in the world to visit – so with this latest research it’s clear that we have struck a strong balance between the needs of those visiting the city, and those who live and work here. Edinburgh is already one of the UK's greenest cities, with nearly 200 parks and open spaces, more trees than people, and more green space and green-flag parks than any other place in Scotland for people to enjoy.

But we want to do even better, especially as we strive towards our hugely ambitious target of making the city net zero by 2030. It is really important that we look after Edinburgh’s wonderful tree legacy for future generations and we’re well on target. In the last year alone, Edinburgh recorded a net increase of 30,362 trees. This supersedes the initial target of 25,000 trees in 2022/23 and represents 22 per cent of our 2030 target.

Edinburgh is known as the world’s Festival City, which brings a positive cultural, social and economic contribution. For over 75 years now, the festivals and the city have evolved together in partnership. We can look forward to 2023 seeing the return of the summer festivals in all their glory. Along with our stakeholders, we continue to work hard to balance the needs of residents, visitors and businesses.

Last week we reaffirmed our commitment to our partnership role supporting and sustaining the Capital’s culture sector with £4.6 million of cultural grants recommendations. Through our grants programme, we commit our support to the Capital’s year-round cultural offering, whilst also playing our part in supporting and sustaining the sector and facilitating access to high-quality cultural opportunities for Edinburgh residents throughout the city.

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We’ve big-ticket issues to be getting on with, be that getting our basic services right, achieving our ambitious 2030 net-zero targets, and doing all we can to fight poverty in our city. Political parties can choose to work with us to achieve these challenges or keep playing student politics with the council’s limited time and resources. Whilst there are undoubtedly still many challenges ahead, and we’re not unlike other major cities, I know that Edinburgh will continue to shine for our residents, businesses and visitors.

Cammy Day is Labour councillor for Forth and Edinburgh Council leader

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