Sunday, November 17, 2013

November Leader's Report

November 2013


Festive Capital

Andrew Burns
Once again the eyes of the world will be upon us. From the illumination of Edinburgh's Christmas Lights, courtesy of Sir Chris Hoy on 24 November, to the much-envied 'Midnight Moment' during our 21st Hogmanay Street Party celebrations. From the packed programme of free events planned for the Grassmarket on St Andrew's Day, to the quite extraordinary Limbo Circus act running until 4 January. And from the sublime Torchlight Procession on 30 December to the quite ridiculous Loony Dook on New Year's Day, there really is something for all the family to enjoy in the fun-filled weeks ahead.

Then, from February, St Andrew Square, which will be at the heart of our Christmas celebrations this year, will be lit up by the spectacular Field of Light exhibition, ensuring the city centre remains a major draw for residents and visitors well into 2014.
Councillor Andrew Burns
Leader of the City of Edinburgh


Prof Peter Higgs

As announced this morning, it is the Council's intention to award the Freedom of the City to Peter Higgs in recognition of his immense contribution to theoretical physics.

It was here in Edinburgh in 1964 that the professor had his big idea - an explanation of why the matter in the Universe has substance, or mass. His work theorised the existence of a new particle that has come to be known as the Higgs boson.

His achievements with the University of Edinburgh are of global significance and this latest honour is further evidence of the high esteem in which he is quite deservedly held, not just by his peers but by the people of the city he now calls home.


Tram project latest

With the end of a big year for the project fast approaching, testing continues to progress well and, from next month, this will extend along the route into the city centre. As with the off-road section, the frequency and pace of testing will be built up gradually over time but please do take heed of the safety messages and other information.

Prior to that, on 19 November, we'll switch on the electrical systems, which means the overhead wires will be live along the full route for the very first time.

Remember you can keep up-to-date with the latest tram news by following @edinburghtrams on Twitter.

PRide in our work

The issue of where to build the new Portobello High School has been, and continues to be, a divisive issue, but I am pleased to report that there was no such division amongst the panel at the Chartered Institute of Public Relations PRide Awards 2013.

Our communications service scored a major success in the Community Relations category, winning Gold for their work on the Portobello Park Private Bill Consultation, beating off stiff competition from the Scottish Government's League Cup football event promoting tolerance, responsibility and respect, and four other shortlisted categories from around Scotland. Well done to all involved.


Pass the baton

The Queen's Baton Relay is a much loved tradition of the Commonwealth Games and Scotland needs 4,000 people to carry the baton on its 40 day trip across the country. This is where you come in.

Games organisers are looking for friendly people that help out in your local community. They might lend a helping hand at a sports club, do voluntary work or just be good role models - it doesn't matter, as long as they've made a difference.

If you know someone who you think should be a baton-bearer, visit the Glasgow 2014 website and say, in no more than 100 words, why they deserve the honour. Nominations are open to anybody aged 12 years or above and the closing date is 22 November.


Stay in the picture

Keep yourself in the picture with our news section online. Watch live full Council and some committee meetings on our webcast. Join the debate on Twitter #edinwebcast

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