Saturday, February 01, 2014

February Leader's Report

February 2014

A community united

Andrew Burns

Last Friday evening, hundreds of people gathered together at Cramond Beach, and across the Forth on Pathhead Sands, to release balloons and lanterns and light candles in young Mikaeel Kular's memory.

It was an emotional, yet peaceful, way for the community to say their goodbyes.

The news of his disappearance, followed by the heartbreaking outcome, led to an incredible outpouring of community spirit, with hundreds of volunteers giving up their time to join the search.

My heart goes out to Mikaeel's friends and loved ones as they continue to come to terms with their dreadful loss.

Councillor Andrew Burns
Leader of the City of Edinburgh Council


Sporting chance

From its lofty beginnings as host to the 1970 Commonwealth Games, Meadowbank has been a fine servant to Edinburgh, and, almost half a century on, it continues to play a significant role in the lives of many people across the city, and beyond. Unfortunately, the facilities that were once considered state-of-the-art, aren't what they once were.

With Glasgow 2014 almost upon us, we are keen to build on the legacy for community sport that the Games will undoubtedly bring and our vision is for a leading-edge public sports facility that can give future generations the opportunity to get involved in sport and physical activity.

We are continuing to work closely with our partners to assess the social, sporting, health and economic impacts of a new Meadowbank and will consider the costs of commissioning a feasibility study, incorporating extensive community consultation, at our budget meeting on February 13. Watch this space!


Tram project latest

It's been an eventful period for the tram since my last report with continuing full line testing, rigorous staff training ahead of service and the launch of the Transport for Edinburgh brand. We now know how Edinburgh trams will look and I'm pleased to see that the style ties in well with Lothian Buses. Integration of the two services is a big priority for us and will make life easier for everyone who wants to get around the city.

Trams are currently only passing through the city centre during the night, allowing important tests and checks to be carried out, but very soon we'll see trams during the day as well. Our safety awareness campaign is already underway but you'll see more activity before the daytime tests begin.
Remember, you can keep up to date with the project by following @edinburghtrams on Twitter.


Enabling enterprise

I recently visited The Melting Pot, the ideal venue to launch 'Enabling Enterprise', a new strategy aimed at developing social enterprise in Edinburgh.

Social enterprises are making a significant contribution to the city by generating local employment, training and volunteering opportunities; taking innovative approaches to creating products and services and ploughing their profits back into their local communities.

The strategy has been commissioned by the Compact Partnership Board and will focus upon, amongst other things, the growth and resilience of the city's enterprising third sector, promoting and encouraging engagement with social enterprise and investing in education and training.


Events in parks - tell us your views

Edinburgh's parks play host to many high profile festivals and events every year, enhancing the city's reputation, generating significant economic benefit and enriching our cultural and community offering. However, I am also aware that these events can impact on how they are used by local people and others.

We are now seeking public views on our Parks Events Manifesto. This document helps us to assess how many events take place within our parks and green spaces, and the criteria by which we decide if a request is suitable.

For more information and to complete our survey on our website. We will share the results and recommendations with you in June.


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