Despite the enormous challenges, the council has never had such an insecure and unstable administration. The Labour, Tory and LibDem Administration can only agree on one thing: they hate the SNP. It’s this which led them to put the Tories in power for the first time in 39 years - despite it being their worst election result ever.Labour are pretending they’ve not done a deal with the Tories and seem to think our residents won’t notice the reality. While it’s clear the Council now has a significant democratic deficit, following the SNP’s election victory- it’s their policies that should worry us most.The Tories are now in charge of applications for short term lets. Previously the SNP progressed strong action and secured legislation needed to give us the powers to act. We progressed a citywide control area to protect residential houses and geared up enforcement. Now that’s all at risk. Their MSPs voted against the substantive legislation and their Councillors said citywide controls went “too far”.The Liberal Democrats are also in charge of key areas of delivering council policy. Their first decision was concerning. At the first planning committee, the new convenor responsible for dealing with planning applications ignored the strong and united voice of the community, and even ignored their own Leith walk councillor, on an important local conservation issue. It’s been a startling change from billing themselves as community champions to a “we know best” attitude.I’ve worked with Labour for a decade and we had made significant progress in key areas together. I’ve also worked constructively with LibDems and even sometimes the Tories, but this administration is seriously deficient. It will not be able to make the strides needed to tackle poverty or climate change without a secure backing of councillors. We already know it will “tone down” recommendations to middle of the road, baby-step pace of change- despite the overwhelming majority of residents voting for strong action. This will fail our communities and our environment.It’s clear Labour’s strategy is to float like a plastic bag in the wind. They have no direction, no effective leadership and will waft towards whichever decision looks like it’s going through anyway. This is dangerous.Having established Edinburgh as a global leader in the fight against climate change in the last five years and produced bold plans in areas like housing and transport, the delivery of this is now under threat. The early signs are the Labour, Tory, LibDem administration will try and water down and reverse some of the progress in key areas. Progressives in Edinburgh are worried about what this all means. Unfortunately, they’re right to be worried.
The SNP’s commitment to our residents is steadfast. We will not support actions which fail on climate change and will push for action to support our residents out of poverty. We will provide leadership where it is lacking and try to keep Edinburgh on track. Voters delivered the SNP as by far the largest party in May – we carry that trust with care.