Edinburgh council: Here are the councillors who will take the key posts in the new administration

Details of who will get the top jobs in Edinburgh’s new minority Labour administration have been revealed.

By Ian Swanson
Wednesday, 25th May 2022, 8:51 pm

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A list of committee conveners and other appointments was published ahead of the full council which will confirm the party in power following its deal with the Lib Dems and Tories.

Nine of Labour’s 13 councillors get key posts, with three “non-political” roles going to Lib Dems and two to the Conservatives.

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It was also confirmed that Lib Dem group leader will become Lord Provost. His was the only nomination, put forward by both the SNP and the Lib Dems.

Labour councillor Lezley Marion Cameron will be Deputy Lord Provost. Group leader Cammy Day will take over as council leader, with Mandy Watt as depute leader and also convener of the finance and resources committee.

Scott Arthur will be transport and environment convener and Joan Griffiths will convene the education, children and families committee.

Three of the new councillors elected on May 5 have been given key roles – Jane Meagher as housing and economy convener, Val Walker as culture and communities convener and James Dalgleish as planning convener.

Clockwise from top right: Councillors Day, Aldridge, Cameron, Arthur, Griffiths, Watt, Dalgleish, and Mowatt

And Tim Pogson, also elected for the first time, has been named for the convenership or vice-convenership of the Edinburgh Integration Joint Board, which is in charge of health and social care in the Capital.The list of names – and the special responsibility allowances they will receive – was published as part of the papers for today’s meeting.

It is understood there are plans for a restructuring of the committees later in the year – including a likely separation of transport and environment, so some of the posts are likely to change.

Lord Provost – Robert Aldridge (£44.039)

The city’s longest-serving councillor, he was first elected in 1984. Born and brought up in Corstorphine, he is councillor for Drum Brae / Gyle. He was chief executive of Homeless Action Scotland until 2017, when he took early retirement for that role and became a full-time councillor. He is widely respected across the parties on the council.

New council leader Cammy Day

Depute Lord Provost – Lezley Marion Cameron (£29,360)

Known as a feisty politician, she has enjoyed serving as a bailie, standing in for the Lord Provost from time to time at events, and now gets the depute role. She served as economic development convener in a previous spell on the council and returned as councillor for Liberton/Gilmerton in 2017. She challenged Cammy Day for the leadership of the group after the elections but lost.

Leader of the Council – Cammy Day (£58,719)

First elected a councillor for Forth ward at a by-election in 2008, he took over as Labour group leader from Andrew Burns when he stepped down in 2017 and immediately became deputy council leader in the SNP-Labour coalition which ran the city for the next five years. He built up a good working relationship with SNP opposite number Adam McVey. A former youth worker, Cllr Day played a leading role in the Edinburgh Poverty Commission.

New Lord Provost Robert Aldridge

Depute Leader of the Council – Mandy Watt (£44,039)

A councillor for Morningside since 2017, she became Labour’s lead on housing and vice-convener of the housing committee in 2019. Her background is as a campaigner and working for Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre and the Zero Tolerance charitable trust.

Transport and Environment Convener – Scott Arthur (£36,699)

Elected as councillor for Colinton/Fairmilehead in 2017 and a backbencher throughout the five-year coalition with the SNP, he is a professor at Heriot-Watt University. He served on the transport and environment committee, but it is understood he will only be convener until the expected committee restructuring.

Education, Children and Families Convener – Joan Griffiths (£36,699)

Former Depute Lord Provost and vice-convener of finance and resources, she has been a councillor for Craigentinny/Duddingston since 2012. She was also the one who proposed the ban on strip clubs in Edinburgh, which the regulatory committee backed by five votes to four.

Housing and Economy Convener – Jane Meagher (£36,699)

First elected a councillor on May 5 in Portobello/Craigmillar, she is a retired community worker and active in many local organisations.

Culture and Communities Convener – Val Walker (£36,699)

Representing Fountainbridge/Craiglockhart and also elected on May 5, she is a retired librarian and passionate about the importance of public libraries. She is said to have been the driving force behind Labour’s agitation for the reopening of libraries which had been used as Covid testing centres.

Planning Committee Convener – James Dalgleish (£36,699)

Labour’s youngest councillor at 26, he had to give up his job working in the council's income and benefits team when he got elected as councillor in Leith Walk ward on May 5. He will be leading on planning strategy while planning applications are handled by the development control sub-committee.

Convener or Vice-Convener of Integration Joint Board – Tim Pogson (£36,699)

Elected a councillor in Southside/Newington on May 5, he works for a housing charity and is former chair of Southside community council. The IJB is in charge of health and socia care for Edinburgh and is made up of representatives from both the council and the health board. The convenership switches between the two parent bodies.

LIB DEMS

Licensing Board Convener – Louise Young (£36,699)

Elected in Almond ward in 2017 along with her brother and fellow Lib Dem Kevin Lang, she had a previous spell on the council representing Leith Walk ward between 2007 and 2012.

Regulatory Committee Convener – Neil Ross (£36,699)

The Lib Dems’ finance spokesman during the last council term, has been a councillor for Morningside since 2017.

Development Sub Committee Convener – Hal Osler (£36.699)

First elected in 2017, she represents Inverleith and served on the planning committee during the last council term. She has campaigned for improved women’s safety and better lighting in parks. Before getting elected, she was on Stockbridge community council.

CONSERVATIVES

Licensing Sub Committee Convener – Jo Mowat (£36,699)

A long-serving councillor for City Centre ward, she has made herself an expert on planning issues but also has wide experience ranging across council responsibilities.

Licensing Board Vice Convener – Jason Rust (£26,360)

Edinburgh's youngest councillor when he was first elected in 2004, he is chair of the Tory group and represents Colinton/Fairmilehead.

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