City coalition deal to be officially unveiled
the Capital's SNP and Labour leaders will officially unveil their coalition deal for the first time today, including pledges to build new homes and schools and spend Â£100 million on roads and pavements.
The agreement, which will be available on the council website, was signed on June 16, more than a month after the May 4 local elections, but it has not been formally published until today.
Conservative councillors had criticised the delay, accusing the SNP-Labour administration of a lack of transparency and keeping the opposition and the public in the dark.
The key pledges have not changed since the Evening News revealed the draft deal at the time. But the 52 commitments have been grouped under five “aims” and linked to 20 “strategic outcomes”.
The coalition will present the Programme for the Capital for approval at next week’s full council meeting.
SNP council leader Adam McVey and his Labour deputy Cammy Day said they were confident the programme would be passed despite their lack of an overall majority.
Cllr McVey said: “Edinburgh is recognised as one of the world’s most successful and prosperous cities and we have many strengths to build upon. Yet we know that if we are to maintain these successes, and meet the many challenges we face, the city needs a council that shows strong leadership.
“By publishing this plan today, we are outlining what we’re aiming to achieve with the ambitious 52 commitments we’ve made to the city.
“We’re now working to deliver measurable progress on a range of areas across health, education, transport, environment and housing to make Edinburgh the best capital city it can be for everyone.”
He said key performance indicators would be published in October and there would be regular monitoring reports. “Everything will be smart and measurable,” he said.
“I’m confident we will get it passed either because people support our programme and hopefully a lot of it will be welcomed across the chamber, but also because I hope parties will recognise the position we are in as an administration and the need to put forward a programme that strategically makes sense.”
Cllr Day said he did not believe other parties would disagree with the programme and hoped they would be constructive.
He said: “We are demonstrating a commitment to improve our services and our amenities in ways that meet the needs of our residents, while devolving decision-making to local communities as far as possible.
“We have identified key areas to focus on, including the construction of 20,000 affordable new homes, delivering a tram to Newhaven, improving waste services and investing £100m in our roads.
“We are committed to working together with local people, businesses and the voluntary sector. Together, we will move Edinburgh forward for the benefit of the city and its people, with decision-making that shows we are listening to public opinion.”
Cllr McVey dismissed criticism of the delayed publication. He said: “We formed an administration two weeks before recess, this is now two weeks out of recess and we’re publishing our business plan – I don’t think that’s too bad.”