Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Scottish results of European Elections

I posted up the Edinburgh results yesterday; so for completeness, here are the overall results for the whole of Scotland - the Council News Release can be found here and I'll simply re-produce the main text below:


The European Election results for Scotland have been announced at the City Chambers

The number of votes cast for each party and the individual candidates are:

BRITAIN FIRST, 13,639 (1.0%)
CONSERVATIVE PARTY, 231,330 (17.2%)
LABOUR PARTY, 348,219 (25.9%)
LIBERAL DEMOCRATS, 95,319 (7.1%)
NO2EU, 6,418 (0.5%)
SCOTTISH GREEN PARTY, 108,305 (8.0%)

Rejected papers 2,184 (0.2%)
Total votes cast 1,345,667
Electorate 4,016,735
Turnout 33.5%

The following candidates have been duly elected to serve in the European Parliament as members for the Scottish region:



If interested, there is more detail available here, and the links therein.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Thanks Dad :-)

Waited a whole 30-years for this pint and fiver ... best pint I've ever tasted; and I'm framing that £5 note :-)

Joking aside - I would NEVER have imagined when I made that rash bet with my Dad - way back in 1984! - that 30-years later, I would actually make good on it :-))

I am though - in all seriousness - delighted that we stuck to our wager ...

... the last 12-months of running have been nothing-but-good for me --- in all sorts of ways.

So - that's it ... last regular blip:


Edinburgh Euro results

Edinburgh's Eurpoean Election results are now fully published ... the high-level figures are here, and I'll re-produce them below:


European Elections Edinburgh Count 2014

The results of the European Parliamentary Election local counting area result have been announced for the City of Edinburgh Council.
The local count was announced on Sunday 25 May 2014.

The number of votes cast for each party are:

NO2EU, 548

Valid votes 141,695
Rejected papers 271
Total votes cast 141,966
Turnout 41.6%

Edinburgh Labour have topped the city-poll, admittedly by a slight 37 votes!, but that contrasts with us taking 3rd place in 2009 - behind both the SNP and Tories.

17.8% of the city-vote in 2009, now up to 23.1% in 2014.

- the 2014 detail, for each constituency, can be found via this link.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Run Andrew Run :-)

And I did ...

... here's a snap of me at the end of today's Edinburgh Marathon, which I'm really delighted to report I completed in 4hours and 49minutes :-)

My private-target at the start of the event had been 4hrs 50mins, so I really am pleased with the time I've achieved :-))

I really cant thank everyone enough, who has helped, encouraged and supported me over the last 12-months ... far too many folk, and organisations, to list here: but HUGE THANKS to each and every one of you!

And - most importantly - I've managed to raise a fair bit of money for the truly wonderful Venture Scotland ... of course, it's not too late if you still want to help in that regard?? --- just follow this link and/or you can donate by text :-)

I'm feeling a bit sore now, but also elated to have run a sub 5-hour Marathon in my 50th year ... there's life in the old-dog yet :-)

I'll go over to see my Dad tomorrow evening - and a blip of him providing me with that pint and a fiver will duly follow before the end of the day :-))

THANKS AGAIN to everyone who has helped, encouraged and supported me ... I couldn't have done it without you!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Edinburgh Marathon is tomorrow!

Edinburgh Marathon is tomorrow - and here's a quick snap of the shirt I'll be wearing!

I can hardly believe how quickly the last year of training has gone ... my goal tomorrow is simply to finish the run in one-piece, and to raise as much as I can for the wonderful Venture Scotland - you can still help with that latter objective by clicking through to my JustGiving page :-)

I should also admit, that the thought of getting that pint - after waiting for 30-years! - from my Dad, will hopefully motivate me to get over the line :-))

REALLY HUGE THANKS to everyone who has helped, encouraged and supported me, in getting to this stage!

I'll blog tomorrow, as soon as I can - but that's likely to be early evening ... for any more immediate update, keep an eye on my twitter-account.

THANKS AGAIN for all the support :-)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Time for change; time for STV-PR

I posted a couple of weeks ago about a brief trip I made to Manchester, and a public meeting I spoke at - all here; including a video-link!

Well - guess what's happened in Manchester today:

But - it's not just Manchester ... here are Newham's results:

As I said on the 10th May - I really hope that those responsible for drafting UK Labour's 2015 General Election manifesto are paying attention??

It is surely time for change; time for STV-PR for English Local Elections.

(graphs via Electoral Reform Society)

29th May Leader's Report

May 2014

Ready to roll


Andrew Burns
In just over a week's time, on Saturday 31 May, Edinburgh Trams will begin carrying their first paying passengers. And while I don't for one second wish to detract from the issues the project has faced, this is undoubtedly a significant milestone for the city.

The drivers and ticketing services assistants have completed an extremely rigorous testing and training programme and are champing at the bit to get started. As it says on our specially dressed tram, we're #readytoroll!

Excitement seems to be building in the city, too. A roadshow last weekend saw more than 1,000 people board two trams stationed in St Andrew Square for a look around, a chat to the TSAs and a ding on the bell! For anyone who missed it, there's another chance tomorrow (Saturday, 24 May), from 12-2pm.

We anticipate the first few days will be pretty busy with people keen to take their first tram trip and, during this final week, the team will be working round the clock to ensure everything is ready for service.
Cllr. Andrew Burns
Leader of the City of Edinburgh




At the last council meeting, on 1 May, I offered my profound apologies to parents for the distress and pain caused by the previous practices at Mortonhall.

Councillors unanimously agreed with the proposal to establish a multi-agency working group, including parents' groups and other relevant agencies, to consider the report's recommendations.

The group, chaired by the Chief Executive, is tasked with preparing a detailed action plan for consideration at next month's special meeting of council. We must act on the recommendations to ensure that the highest possible standards are adhered to at Mortonhall and that nothing like this can happen again.


St James Quarter


I was delighted to join Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, at the launch of an ambitious scheme that will see the St James Quarter completely transformed by a £850m commercial development - made possible by an innovative funding agreement between the Council, Scottish Government and TIAA Henderson Real Estate.

The Council played a crucial role in attracting this investment, which will see the development of 42,500m2 of high-quality retail space, 2,300m2 of grade A office space, a 210-bedroom five-star hotel, a 152-bedroom four-star hotel, a 55-bedroom apart-hotel, a theatre, restaurants and 138 residential units.

The project will create significant overall growth to the economy, thousands of new jobs for Edinburgh and raise our competitiveness with other international capital cities.


Homes for Scotland


On 16 May, the EICC played host to the Homes for Scotland national awards and I'm delighted to say that a number of Edinburgh housing developments featured. Amongst those recognised were the Council, Cruden Homes, Port of Leith Housing Association, Link Homes and Hillcrest Housing Association.

In the last five years, the Council and our partners have built 4,000 new affordable homes, trebling the amount built each year, regenerating brownfield sites across the city and generating close to £500m in economic benefit in the process.

Edinburgh needs a significant number of new homes over the next ten years, which is why we recently approved another round of procurement with the National Housing Trust and are looking to further expand our 21st Century Homes programme.


Queen's Baton Relay


Last week we revealed the route for the Edinburgh leg of the Glasgow 2014 Queen's Baton Relay, which will spend Saturday 14 June touring the capital's communities, streets and landmarks.

The relay will be a fantastic opportunity for residents to take to the streets to show their support for our baton bearers and celebrate Edinburgh's part to play in the Commonwealth Games.

As host of the 1970 and 1986 Games, and co-host of this year's diving event at the Royal Commonwealth Pool, it is fitting that the baton will be brought home to Edinburgh - the only city in the Commonwealth to stage Games events for a third time.


Marathon Man


This Sunday, 25th May, I will be attempting to settle a 30-year old bet (I stand to win £5 and a pint from my dad!) as I join thousands of other hardy souls competing in the 2014 Edinburgh Marathon.

I'm pleased with how my preparations have gone - and extremely grateful for all sponsorship received to date. I'm raising money for Venture Scotland, who run an outdoor-based personal development programme for young people who face complex and difficult problems. Please help me reach my fundraising target for this fantastic cause.


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The City of Edinburgh Council

29th May Full Council Meeting

The second May Council Meeting now imminent!

All the reports are now up on Committee Papers On-Line (CPOL) and you can access the main agenda directly here; and each of the individual reports separately via this link.

Of course - as ever, if you're so minded, you can watch all the proceedings live here ... or the meeting will be archived a few hours after it finishes for viewing at your leisure ;-)

You know you want to??

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Can you text: VSCO50 £10 ... to 70070

The Edinburgh Marathon is this coming Sunday (25th May) - and the time for subtlety about sponsorship is coming to a close ;-)

Regular readers will know that you can sponsor me through the usual JustGiving channels - via this link ... and I'm extremely grateful to all those, who have already done so: thanks!

... but, as the photo above indicates, you can also sponsor me by mobile - simply text:

VSCO50 £10    ... to 70070

I'm doing really well with sponsorship for the wonderful Venture Scotland (over 51% of my initial target just now) ... but I'd love it to get closer to the full target, as Sunday approaches :-)

Indeed, if everyone who reads this post, sent £10 ... then I would reach that full target :-))

Hope you might be able to help?

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Time for change

I'm down in Manchester next Tuesday night ... speaking at the event you can see on this poster.

Apparently - on Thursday 22nd May; there's a very real prospect that EVERY ONE (yes every single one!) of Manchester's 96 Elected Council Members could be Labour Party Councillors? 

Currently, Labour have 86 out of the 96 Councillors, with the remaining 10 Members (9 Lib-Dem and 1 Independent) all being up for re-election on the 22nd.

Now, don't get me wrong - I'm a Labour politician, and being tribalist for a second, having 100% of Labour Councillors is an attractive prospect!

Problem is, Manchester Labour have 86 out of 96 (that's 90%!) of the Councillors on just 66% of the vote.

So - in a couple of weeks time, when Manchester goes to the polls for Local Government Elections; there's a very real prospect that Labour could end up with 100% of the City Council's Elected Members, on no more than two-thirds of the popular vote?

I'm sorry - but if ever there was a reason why England should follow Scotland, and legislate for STV-PR for Local Council Elections ... then this surely has to be it.

One can but hope that those responsible for drafting UK Labour's 2015 General Election manifesto are paying attention?



Someone has made, and posted-up, a YouTube video of this event in Manchester - you can access it via this link ;-)


Friday, May 09, 2014

Capital Coalition Away Day ...

... well, actually, it was just an afternoon, and it wasn't very far away: spent a few hours at the Serenity Cafe venue, near the bottom of the Royal Mile!

And the joys of proportional representation obviously mean that our political Away Days now involve two parties ;-)

So; a joint Labour-SNP - Capital Coalition - Friday afternoon spent discussing a combination of issues: Education, Planning and Development, Sport and - of course - Politics!

All highly uplifting stuff.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Corporate, Policy and Strategy Committee next Tuesday

May's Corporate Policy and Strategy Committee takes place next Tuesday 13th ...

... all the papers are now in the public domain: the main Agenda can be found here;

- and the individual reports are all up on Committee Papers on-Line (CPOL) linked from here.

Reports that may well attract some attention and debate:

Just click on any of the above links for access (as a PDF) to the specific report.