Edinburgh council: Interim transport convener Scott Arthur of Labour vows to deliver where previous administration failed

Newly appointed transport and environment convener Scott Arthur has said that he will strive to deliver in the role where the previous administration failed – despite saying he will only be in the position until someone “more able” takes over.

By Neil Johnstone
Friday, 27th May 2022, 4:55 am

Councillor Arthur was one of nine Labour councillors to take a top role in the new minority administration and told the Edinburgh Evening News that being appointed was “a fantastic honour”, and he intends “to get as much done as possible” whilst in the role.

This comes after Labour managed to win a minority administration following a deal with the Lib Dems and Conservatives, despite Labour only winning 13 of the 63 seats on the council.

On his social media, the new transport convener explained that it will be an “interim position” and that he will stand down when “a more able colleague completes her transition to being a councillor”. He didn't say who the councillor will be but it is believed it will be retired librarian Val Walker.

Councillor Scott Arthur

Councillor Arthur said that although he expects to stand down in October when the council committee is expected to be reorganised, he remains “absolutely behind” his new post.

He said: “I’ve been in the job for about two hours now and I’ve already been chasing road safety changes which were approved about 18 months ago that haven’t happened and I’ve been promised a briefing on the tram project.

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“We’ve also been talking about having an emergency transport committee to deal with some outstanding issues which haven’t been progressing at a sufficient rate and I’ve been speaking to the transport team to speak about whether or not they have their budget to deliver some of the projects that are on they’re table.”

Councillor Arthur criticised the previous administration for not delivering on pledges and said that Labour’s success will be dependent on how they deliver change.

He said: “We have to focus on taking the city forward but we also have to get delivery right. The council over the last five years has approved a lot but some of that hasn’t been delivered.

“So whilst we take the city forward, our immediate focus is actually looking at what’s been pledged and making that happen.

“I know that some of the road safety improvements [that were not carried out] have been a risk to schools. Personally I don’t’ think its acceptable that we’ve been waiting 18 months for them to be implemented.

“So I want to find out if these teams have the resources they need to make our cities safer for kids going to school.”