Opposition councillors under fire for ‘failing in duty to young people’

Cllr Robert Aldridge
Cllr Robert Aldridge
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The Capital’s young people’s champion has blasted a opposition councillors for failing to take the needs of children seriously.

The city council’s north west locality committee was due to discuss the authority’s child poverty action unit, with lifelong learning strategic manager Linda Lees set to present a report and answer any questions.

But having waited for almost three hours, Ms Lees’ appearance at the committee was questioned by Liberal Democrat convener Cllr Robert Aldridge.

Young persons champion and SNP Cllr Ellie Bird asked to comment on the report – but was shut down by the convener.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Bird said: “After so much discussion was given to the other items on the agenda, I expected that the final and, for me, most important report on the child poverty action unit, and the officer that authored it, would be given more time for discussion.

“I thought it was deeply regrettable that the decision was made not to debate the pressing content of this report, especially given the extensive work that the council is currently undertaking to poverty proof the school day and build a child and young person friendly Edinburgh.

“We need to prioritise the needs of our children and young people right across our services and at the committee, I don’t believe we fulfilled that duty to our young people.”