At both Full Council sessions in May I continued, along with Deputy Leader Cammy Day, to press Council Leader Adam McVey to meet Derek Mackay, the Finance Secretary and demand full and fair funding for Edinburgh.
Edinburgh needs £200m for schools. It needs another £77m to partially meet its housing targets. It needs funding for infrastructure.
I will continue to press the case so that Edinburgh begins to get the funding it deserves.
I had two successful motions to Full Council on 30th May. The first of these celebrated the success of Hibs Ladies who won the Scottish Cup for the 4th year in a row. It was agreed unanimously to give a Civic Reception by the Lord Provost to mark this achievement.
The second motion tackled the problem created for EU citizens in registering to vote in time for the European Parliament elections. This meant that despite a valiant effort only 7,000 out of 40,000 voted – a problem created by the UK Government. The Conservatives opposed the motion making clear their indifference to protecting democratic rights.
The fragility of the coalition was laid bare when opposition parties combined (Tories, Greens, Lib-Dems, independents) to out vote the Coalition on a review of Special Responsibility Allowances (SRA’s) by 33 – 28.
Along with scrutiny work in the opposition led committee Governance Risk and Best Value I also took part in the Licensing Committee which gave approval to the Climate Change March by school strike children. They made their case very well and even met conditions that meant a wedding at the City Chambers would not be disrupted by their March.
Leith Primary school had a great event celebrating Neurodiversity. This is the collective term to describe those who have ADHD, Dyslexia, Autism and Dyspraxia. They were the only state school in Edinburgh holding an event to mark a week of celebrating difference.
Speakers included the Head of Leith Primary, speaking as both a parent and a teacher, Daniel Johnson MSP discussing how his medication helps his ADHD and Saskia Eng, who appeared on ‘The Voice’ and is an advocate for Neurodiversity.
Increased awareness has not been matched by increased funding creating real strain for schools such as Leith Primary who have a larger pupil population with neurodiversity. You can find out more at http://www.Neurodiversity-Celebration-Week.com
Leith Industrial School Trust
The Trust provides grants to enable local children to take part in activities such as school trips when income at home may be overstretched. Grants have been given to local groups such as Leith Sea Cadets to allow all to take part in group activity. More information can be found here:
The first of these on 5th May was a great event with Grassmarket, Victoria Street and most of the Royal Mile closed off to traffic allowing various activities from walking to badminton to football to take place. I would urge you to try this out. The next event is due at the beginning of July.
You can find out more here:-
City Centre Transformation
There are bold plans for the city centre and I would urge all to take part in the consultation seeking views on what you would like to see in the future for your city centre.
I spoke at Edinburgh May Day on behalf of the International Brigade Memorial Trust. I linked the contribution made by those who served in Spain to the challenge presented by a resurgent Right here in the UK and in Europe. The sacrifice of Robert Bridges and John Dalglish from Leith and Jimmy Rutherford of Newhaven, who remain in Spain, along with the reasons they served in the International Brigades should not be forgotten.