Numbers are adding up for city prosperity - Cammy Day

Once members of a coalition, Labour's Cammy Day ousted Adam McVey as leader after the recent council electionOnce members of a coalition, Labour's Cammy Day ousted Adam McVey as leader after the recent council election
Once members of a coalition, Labour's Cammy Day ousted Adam McVey as leader after the recent council election
Published last week, Edinburgh by Numbers provides a unique overview of life in the Capital and is one of our most well-loved and well used pieces of research, a handy resource for everyone from school pupils to professors.

We have long said that our Capital city is a great place to live, visit, work in and invest and I’m pleased to see the latest data reaffirm this. In fact, the report reveals that Edinburgh residents are living longer and living well, compared to other cities in the UK. And this is despite record cuts from the SNP/Green government and Edinburgh being the lowest funded council in Scotland.

We may be small but not many places can boast the unique blend of greenspaces, beaches or indeed ancient volcanoes Edinburgh can – not to mention the most famous festivals on the planet. It’s great to see that all of this culture and outdoor space is actually having positive effects on our wellbeing, too.

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With good survival rates for local businesses, Edinburgh’s economic outlook is also looking healthy.

We’ve witnessed a great level of business resilience in our city and now the gradual and welcome return of tourism - with the research demonstrating a bounce back in airport passenger numbers.

When viewed alongside recent news of major investment into the centre and a business tourism revival for the EICC, this all points to a post-pandemic rebound for Edinburgh.

In yet more good news for the city centre, the team at Essential Edinburgh (EE) recently received the overwhelming backing of members to take forward the area’s Business Improvement District for another five years. As part of our ‘Team Edinburgh’ approach to economic recovery, which involved over 60 other organisations, EE has been involved in setting out what was needed for the city to recover sustainably from the pandemic.

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While all of this good news is to be welcomed, however, there is a flip side to the reputation Edinburgh has coined. Wages are higher than average, but so too are costs and many residents continue to struggle with the cost of living crisis. In just three years, we’ve seen a 191 per cent rise in the number of people who are in work claiming Universal Credit. For the council, Government and all city partners, it’s important that we use the findings of Edinburgh by Numbers to address these challenges.

Future generations should be able to reap the benefits of ‘the best city in the world’ too. Speaking of which, a new Royal era begins with the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III this weekend, with celebrations taking place up and down the country.

The Lord Provost will represent Edinburgh at the ceremony in London and here in Edinburgh we’re encouraging residents and visitors to dust off their picnic blankets and come together in West Princes Street Gardens to watch proceedings live on the big screen. On Sunday, the screen will remain in place and broadcast The Coronation Concert at Windsor Castle to spectators in the Gardens.

I’m aware of various street parties planned across the city and residents are also invited to share their memories and record well wishes for the new sovereign in our books of congratulations in City Chambers, Central Library and online. It promises to be a historic occasion, so let’s hope for a spot of warmer weather as people celebrate and enjoy an extra bank holiday weekend.

Cammy Day is leader of City of Edinburgh Council

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