Edinburgh may be 'visually stunning' and 'filled with historical charm' but it's got big problems too – Steve Cardownie
With over a year under his belt as the leader of Edinburgh City Council, Cammy Day must be getting used to the tactical manoeuvres of the opposition as they do all that they can to unseat him and grasp the reins of leadership for themselves. His recent lamentations regarding opposition councillors’ adoption of student politics will not deter some elected members from deploying more of the same, however.
Although it looks decidedly fragile from the outside, Cammy will take comfort from the fact that his administration can enjoy a period of stability, mainly because the alternative of an SNP/Green administration is too bitter a pill for the other parties to swallow. While some see this as a unionist alliance against a pro-independence bloc, others see it quite differently and point out that the last administration was led by an alliance of the SNP and Labour so that cannot be the case.
Indeed, when I was leader of the SNP group on the council I negotiated two coalition deals, one with the Liberal Democrats and the other with Labour, with both lasting until the next council elections. So, other factors are obviously at play here and Cammy can breathe a huge sigh of relief.
He boasted in Monday’s paper that Edinburgh was “visually stunning”, it was “filled with historical charm and green spaces”, adding “that’s not to mention our globally renowned cultural scene, programme of festivals and thriving hospitality industry”. Quite so, but Edinburgh also has major issues which are in dire need of attention – such as homelessness – and Cammy will be judged on how his administration deals with those.