Friday, May 18, 2012

A very proud day ...

A very proud day for Edinburgh Labour yesterday ...

... after 5-gruelling years in Opposition, my good friend and colleague Donald Wilson was formally appointed as Lord Provost of Edinburgh; and I was formally appointed as Leader of the City of Edinburgh Council :-)

Whilst we enjoyed every minute of yesterday, we all know the really hard work starts now; and every one of the 20 Edinburgh Labour Councillors will work tirelessly over the coming 5-years towards delivering on the promises we made to the people of the Capital.

- and huge thanks again for all the messages of support and encouragement over the last 2-weeks ... we've been quite overwhelmed by them!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Labour appointments confirmed

The Labour Group has this evening confirmed its list of appointments to the joint Labour/SNP Coalition Administration ... I'll simply list them below:

Leader – Andrew Burns
Provost – Donald Wilson

Convener of Education – Paul Godzik
Convener of Health, Social Care & Housing – Ricky Henderson
Convener of Transport & Environment – Lesley Hinds

Convener of Planning – Ian Perry
Convener of Licensing Board – Eric Milligan
Convener of Audit – Maureen Child

Vice-Convener of Regulatory (& Baillie) – Angela Blacklock
Vice-Convener of Culture & Leisure – Norma Austin Hart
Vice-Convener of Economic Development – Gordon Munro
Vice-Convener of Health, Social Care & Housing – Cammy Day
Vice-Convener of Finance – Bill Cook

Provost and Leader are formally confirmed at this Thursday's Full Council Meeting; the rest of the appointments at next week's Council Meeting on the 24th.

I'm looking forward to working with all Conveners/Vice-Conveners; both those listed above and all those from the SNP Group.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A New Contract with the Capital

Apologies for the uncharacteristic 'blogging-silence' since the local elections last Thursday ... hope you can understand that I've been ever-so-slightly busy throughout the intervening days ;-)

But, as I'm sure all my regular readers know, we had
a fantastic result returning the largest number of Councillors (for one Group) ever elected under STV in Edinburgh: twenty!

I'll just say that again,
twenty :-))

Following the results on Friday afternoon, I made truly extensive efforts -
as we promised we would in our manifesto - to form an administration from the best available talents; and we spoke to all 4 other Political Groups at great length over the weekend.

But by Monday evening, it was clear that it wouldn't be possible to create a coalition of all the talents - so
Edinburgh Labour formed a coalition with the local SNP and signed a 'Heads of Terms' that evening.

And this afternoon, Edinburgh Labour and the local SNP have formally signed "A New Contract with the Capital".

The most important word in the whole document is the with in the title --- we intend to be both open and transparent; to listen to the residents of Edinburgh; and then to decide and deliver.

Our central priority will be to build a more co-operative and prosperous Edinburgh that benefits every individual and community.

The agreement includes more than 50 pledges that the administration will be judged on, with a review going to Council each year detailing what progress has been made on meeting those aims.
The agreement sets out six key priorities:
  • ensuring every child in Edinburgh has the best start in life
  • reducing poverty, inequality and deprivation
  • providing for Edinburgh 's prosperity
  • strengthening and supporting our communities and keeping them safe
  • ensuring Edinburgh, and its residents, are well cared-for; and
  • maintaining and improving the quality of life in Edinburgh.

This "new contract with the capital" does mark a fresh start ...

... and from today, right through to the first-Thursday in May 2017, we'll be working tirelessly to repay the trust that was put in us by the electorate last week --- and to deliver on the 50 pledges in
this document.

Personally, I can't wait to get started.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Eve-of-Poll is here

Eve-of-Poll is here.

Think I'll lay off the politics on the blog today ... been plenty of that recently!

... and just take the opportunity, at the end of this 5-year Council Term, to say a HUGE THANKS to our Group Support Staff and Group Business Manager at the Council; they are the people who really do the hard-work on a day-in, day-out basis. Thanks to you all :-)

And best-of-luck to the Elections Team at the Council for a successful 'democratic event' tomorrow! ... I know just how stressful a time this is for them all, but it never prevents them being unfailingly polite and helpful.

To everyone else - no matter how you vote tomorrow, PLEASE VOTE.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

May Day

May Day today - and only 2-days until the Local Government Polls open.

I clearly hope residents cast their vote according to local issues and really do consider whether the last 5-years of SNP/Lib-Dem control in Edinburgh have been a success, and if they want more of the same? Or, is it time for a change?

I know the answer I'd prefer ;-)

... and I hope Edinburgh Labour have demonstrated over recent years that we have tried to listen carefully to the views of local residents; especially in the way we've gone about constructing our local manifesto, a short summary of which is up on the main Edinburgh Labour website this morning.

For me - it really is time for a fresh start, with a co-operative council listening to local people and working together with local communities. A council where fairness, accountability and responsibility really matter. That's the core message in our offer to Edinburgh ... it will run through everything we do in the next 5-years.

But, however you vote (and I hope you do vote!), do please take some time to read the various Parties' manifesto proposals before Thursday.