We all need to engage in city’s best interests to tackle Covid - Adam McVey
Again our city will face significant challenges in dealing with Covid. I wish we were out of this by now, but the Omicron variant is unfortunately a significant worry, meaning we’re having to reevaluate things.
Throughout the pandemic Edinburgh has managed to keep local services like waste collection running. This is thanks to the flexibility and hard work of our teams and I’m so grateful to our staff for their dedication to public service across our city over the last two years in dealing with this virus and its impact.
I’m also so thankful to people across Edinburgh for continuing to follow the guidance and I want to reassure residents that we will keep reassessing all arrangements in the city to make sure that public health is the first and foremost consideration and while I hope we can retail as much of normal life as possible, changes and even further restrictions might be needed.
If you’re asking what you can do, please get the vaccine. I recently spoke to someone who hadn’t had the vaccine. He and his wife thought it was a conspiracy. They thought it wasn’t serious.
I’m pleased to say both have now had both doses, but it took the death of a close friend of theirs from Covid to convince them of the need. Please don’t let a tragedy be the reason you protect yourself and your family.
We’ve worked hard with NHS colleagues to make sure vaccination capacity across the city meets Edinburgh’s needs. The Royal Highland Centre remains open and the EICC is coming back on stream, on top of locations across the city already administering the third booster jag.
With the seriousness of the situation Edinburgh faces, it was surprising that at last week’s council meeting Tory councillors had nothing to say on the issue.
No questions on impact on local services. No questions on business support. No questions on funding required to meet additional challenges.
They should have showed they cared about this. They should have been engaging with the issues and apologising to people in Edinburgh for illegal Tory Christmas parties and the evidence which caught them red-handed, a video of senior Tories laughing while the rest of us lost and sacrificed so much to keep our families safe and protect the NHS through lockdown.
It’s telling that not one Tory councillor has condemned Boris Johnson’s lies or called for him to resign.
While their conduct on Covid is disgraceful, at last week’s council they also resorted to playing party politics with one of the most serious matters we had to deal with - the review into council whistleblowing culture.
All other political parties worked together to make sure we got the right action in place while the Tories couldn’t even be bothered to turn up to discuss the issue. A catastrophic failure of leadership from the Tories.
Last week’s by-election defeat in Shropshire has reminded the Tories that lying to people is punished severely by the voters. In May, Tory councillors will face the judgment of the people of Edinburgh for their own conduct.
Cllr Adam McVey is leader of City of Edinburgh Council