Think global, act local, vote Green on May 5 - Lorna Slater

In the Green movement we have a well-used phrase, think global, act local. That is what I am asking the people of Edinburgh to do on May 5.

Lorna Slater (Green)
Lorna Slater (Green)

The local authority elections on May 5th aren’t just a chance to decide who runs our services. They are also key to shaping the Green recovery we want to build and how we respond to the big challenges.

Edinburgh is a beautiful city, but it’s also very unequal. Last year the Edinburgh Poverty Commission warned that 80,000 people in our city were living in relative poverty. It is a shocking number that will only have increased with skyrocketing energy costs and a disastrous Brexit.

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One of the biggest drivers of the cost-of-living crisis is housing. House prices are hitting record highs, but far too many people are being hit by soaring rents and being priced-out of the city. The pandemic has made things even worse, with the number of homeless families increasing by almost one third.

Looking to the future, the biggest challenge we will face is the climate crisis. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said that it is “now or never” in terms of cutting carbon and avoiding catastrophe.

Poverty, the cost of living and environmental policy may be national issues, but every level of government has a role to play in tackling them. With Greens in government, we are taking big steps nationally, but there are also lots of important steps that we can take locally.

These are at the core of our Green vision for a fairer, greener Edinburgh that works for everyone. This is laid out in our local election manifesto, a bold and positive set of proposals that demonstrate how local activity can make real change to some of the global challenges facing us.

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It is full of detailed Green plans to cut our carbon emissions and make our capital city a place where everyone can afford to live, learn and work. The Green Edinburgh that we want to build is one with more green spaces and recycling, low traffic neighbourhoods and cleaner air, and genuinely affordable housing

My Green colleagues and I want to see Edinburgh becoming a net zero carbon city by 2030. Lots of people across Edinburgh are doing their part to tackle climate change, and with Green councillors we will deliver the transformative change the city needs to meet this ambition.

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We have a fantastic team of Green candidates across our city. They are working tirelessly to build an Edinburgh that works for people and the planet.

Local Council elections may get less attention than national ones, but they are one of the best opportunities that we have to shape our services, our communities and the values that underpin them.

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With record investment in wildlife and nature, free bus travel for everyone under 22 and the biggest investment in funding for new teachers for a generation, we have shown the impact that Greens can have in government. Let us do the same here in Edinburgh.

The only way to get Green policies and green solutions is to vote for Green candidates.

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The election on May 5 uses a preferential voting system, so you can rank candidates starting with your favourite. First preference votes are most crucial, so think global, act local and give your first preference vote to the Scottish Greens on May 5th.