Edinburgh residents’ discount card among Lib Dem plans

Robert Aldridge
Robert Aldridge
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A DISCOUNT card for Edinburgh residents to use on local services is among the proposals being fielded by the Liberal Democrats as the party unveiled its council election manifesto.

The party also pledged to look at the business case for extending the tram network and to review the Capital’s ongoing 20mph rollout after one full year of operation.

Outlining their plans, the Lib Dems said they wanted to shift the focus away from a second independence referendum to “getting basic services right”.

Edinburgh group leader Robert Aldridge said the previous administration had “taken its eye off the ball” and it was time to start improving day-to-day life for residents.

He said: “It’s about emptying the bins on time, getting the recycling services working properly, sorting out the roads and pavements [and] making sure our social care services are amongst the best in Scotland.

“We think people expect their council tax money will be well spent to deliver the services week in, week out to a very high standard and that’s what we intend to do.”

Among the party’s ideas is to investigate the possibility of creating a discount card which would allow Edinburgh residents to “access services more cheaply than visitors”.

Cllr Aldridge said this could involve getting local businesses on side to offer residents money off entry to local attractions or leisure venues.

He said: “It’s by no means a simple thing to sort out but I think would be very worthwhile. You often hear from people that the city concentrates on the people who visit the city and not enough on the people who live here.

“I think we should make sure the people who live here are gaining all the benefits of this fantastic city as well.”

The Lib Dems said they would work for better regulation of short-term lets in residential properties and seek permission from the Scottish Government to implement low-emission zones in which polluting vehicles would be banned.

The party also pledged to support a “modest” tourist hotel bed tax and maintain the 10 per cent of transport funding currently set aside for walking and cycling.

Cllr Aldridge said the Lib Dems had a proud record in the Capital and wanted to help residents feel more engaged with the council.

He added: “We are ambitious for the city but we are also realistic. We aren’t promising enormous great vanity projects – what we are about is getting basic services done properly.”

The full list of nominations for Edinburgh’s 17 multi-member wards shows the party is fielding a total of 18 candidates.

Alex Cole-Hamilton, Lib Dem MSP for Edinburgh Western, said the party was keen to “get on with the day job” and move away from the “constant bickering” over independence.

He said: “The manifesto encapsulates the local service that people have come to expect from Liberal Democrats on the ground in Edinburgh.

“They know we are hard-working community activists who work all year round.”