Vladimir Putin's war on Ukraine means Russian Consulate should be thrown out of Edinburgh – Cammy Day

Last week saw a powerful and emotional deputation to out council meeting from Hannah Beaton-Hawryluk from the Ukraine Association in Edinburgh, telling the real story of what has been happening in Ukraine since the illegal, savage Russian war on innocent civilians in an independent state began.

Kyiv's mayor Vitali Klitschko, seen telling people to move away from a block of flats that partially collapsed after a shelling in Kyiv, has been given the Freedom of the City by Edinburgh Council (Picture: Sergei Supinsky/AFP via Getty Images)
Kyiv's mayor Vitali Klitschko, seen telling people to move away from a block of flats that partially collapsed after a shelling in Kyiv, has been given the Freedom of the City by Edinburgh Council (Picture: Sergei Supinsky/AFP via Getty Images)

I’m delighted that councillors agreed to my motion calling for support for the Ukrainian community, to welcome refugees to our city and to call for the removal of the Russian Consulate in our capital city.

We then went further and agreed to award the Freedom of the City on the mayor of our twin city Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

We’re also releasing £100,000 of council funding to support local humanitarian aid and do everything we can to welcome those who are fleeing the war with open arms. Council officers are holding daily meetings with government officials, Edinburgh Airport, third sector partners and other agencies to make sure the right support is in place from the moment they land.

Meanwhile, the city continues to fly the Ukraine flag proudly and defiantly above the City Chambers and has also lit up Granton Gas tower in the Ukrainian colours as a symbol of our support. Find out more about what we’re doing and how you can help at www.edinburgh.gov.uk/ukraine.

With only six weeks to go until the local elections, you will soon be seeing (if not already) many of our Labour councillor candidates, dropping off their leaflets, promoting our manifesto and speaking to thousands of people across the city.

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As always, last week we were the first party in Edinburgh to launch our 2022 local government manifesto, brought together after months of engaging with the city to hear your views.

Our manifesto makes bold commitments to respond to the climate change emergency and is strong on our unreserved commitment to respond to the impact of poverty on the poorest in our city.

We also make firm commitments to bring council services back under council control, providing good terms and conditions and creating a workforce that contributes to the wider local community.

And a commitment to build more quality housing for the people that need it most, while retrofitting current stock to a highly efficient standard.

Edinburgh is now the lowest funded city in Scotland, and it’s time the SNP government recognised that. I also hope all parties will join our manifesto calls for the Scottish Government to fund our Capital city properly, and fairly. You can read our manifesto and get in touch with your local candidate here: www.edinburghlabour.org.

Finally, I was able to visit Victoria Primary School along with Foysol Choudhury MSP recently – and what an amazing new school it is.

I spoke with residents about some local roads issues that we need to resolve but, inside the school, the young people and head teacher are delighted to have moved from the oldest school in the city to the newest – and best! And they can still see their old school, now transformed into the Heart of Newhaven community hub.

Councillor Cammy Day is leader of the Labour group on Edinburgh Council

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