Edinburgh's new Labour-run council will work with other parties to tackle housing crisis, the cost of public transport and climate change – Cammy Day
It is a great privilege to have been elected as leader of Edinburgh Council, and I am delighted that the city I call home will benefit from a Labour Council.
I want this to mark not just the start of a new term, but the start of a new way of doing local politics in Edinburgh.
Labour went into this election offering voters something different by ruling out coalitions and pledging to work with other parties based on what was best for communities – not on party political divides and deals. I am delighted to deliver on that pledge.
We said there would be no coalitions with the SNP and the Tories and this is the case. This is a Labour minority council, with the Tories and the SNP in opposition.
We will work with parties across the chamber to develop a culture that delivers for everyone in Edinburgh. We will listen to all councillors, reflecting on their concerns and what is best for communities.
The ‘us vs them’ mentality of Scottish politics is failing our city – but we can take a different approach. We can choose to focus our energies on what we agree on, instead of bickering and point-scoring.
Councils don’t have to be defined by damaging division or dodgy stitch-ups. Across the country, Labour are showing there is a better way to do this – by forming administrations and working on an issue-by-issue basis in the interests of communities.
People’s bills are going up regardless of party they voted for, and whether they voted yes or no, leave or remain. The services we all rely on are at breaking point and the city we all love needs a change.
We all want the best for Edinburgh and we should be working together to deliver it. We shouldn’t be basing our decisions on pre-defined battle lines or dismissing a good idea from someone wearing the wrong rosette.
Local government is far too important to be swallowed up by the same old constitutional arguments.
It is not an extension of national politics and it is not a game to be played between political parties short of ideas and obsessed by division.
It is about the issues that affect you, your family and your community. It is about your roads, your parks, your bins and your libraries; it is about your children’s schools and your grandparents’ social care.
Edinburgh is one of the greatest cities in the world, but we need to work together to tackle the challenge it faces.
We need to tackle Edinburgh’s housing crisis so that no-one is priced out of living here.
We need to support our iconic public transport system so that getting from A to B doesn’t cost the earth.
We need to lead the way tackling the global climate emergency and reaching net-zero emissions by 2030.
And we need to fight for a fair deal from central government, so we can unlock Edinburgh’s full potential.
We can do this and more by working together constructively and collaboratively – across the city chambers and more widely. I want to hear the voices of people, groups and communities across Edinburgh so that we can build a better future together.