Down in North Yorkshire over this weekend and today's weather (Saturday) was indeed rather pleasant, and we managed a group-walk to the top of the second highest peak in the Yorkshire Dales - Ingleborough!
Thought that even this quick snap on the i-phone (looking back from the hillside to the valley below), clearly showed the sheer scale of the local limestone pavement? A very impressive sight.
Tragically; the days walking-efforts just happened to end here ;-)
Local by-election now just a few months away - details in today's News Release here ... and I'll re-produce the full text below.
UPDATE - this is now Scotland's first, post-STV, double-vacancy by-election; with my Green colleague - Maggie Chapman - also having announced she is standing down!
Leith Walk by-election to be held this September
A by-election will be held in the Leith Walk ward following the resignation of Cllr Deidre Brock.
Deidre Brock stood down from her role as councillor after being elected as a Member of Parliament for the Edinburgh North and Leith constituency in May’s General Election.
The by-election is to be held on 10th September, when voters in Leith Walk will choose another councillor to represent the ward.
Sue Bruce, Returning Officer and Chief Executive of The City of Edinburgh Council, said: “Deidre Brock has served as an elected member for more than eight years and I wish her well in her new role as a Member of Parliament.
“I now look forward to involving the public in the democratic process to elect a new councillor for the Leith Walk ward.”
Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm on 10th September. Details of where these are will be announced shortly.
The election will use the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system where voters can rank candidates in order of preference rather than using a single cross. Voters can give a rank to as many or as few candidates as they like.
I'm pleased to report that Council officers are making good progress on
case for the possible extension of the trams in Edinburgh, which
already shows the clear economic benefit it could have on the city. In the tram's first year of operation we have seen passenger numbers
surpass their target, demonstrating a growing demand for public transport
in Edinburgh and making the case for extending the tram to benefit people
elsewhere in the city. That said, it is essential that we learn from past experience, and we
won't be making any snap decisions about the future of the project. That's
why we've appointed a third party to verify the figures and are carrying
out a market consultation to gauge the interest of contractors who may
potentially bid to work on the project. I look forward to receiving the updated business case in the autumn,
which will put forward thoroughly researched and independently scrutinised
options for an extension.
Councillor Andrew Burns
Leader of the City of Edinburgh
Great news: figures published by the Scottish Government this week show
that more Edinburgh school leavers than ever are moving into work, education,
or training. Since launching the Edinburgh
Guarantee scheme four years ago, our positive destination figure has
risen to 93.1%, an increase of 10%. The Capital is now the best performing
city in Scotland and is 12th out of all local authority areas, which puts us
well above the national average. Hear more about the figures, and the people
behind them, in this short
video. We must acknowledge, of course, that there is still a lot of work to be
done to drive this figure even higher through targeted support for areas of
the city with deprivation and high unemployment.
A leaner, more
We must change the way we work to meet the needs of Edinburgh's growing
population and address the significant financial challenges we face. To this
end, councillors have been asked to consider proposals
that will transform our services and help us to make essential savings of
at least £107m over the next five years. This includes streamlining the council structure to become more efficient
and deliver more services locally to those people who need them the most. It
will also involve a more joined up approach to how we work with partners like
Police Scotland and NHS Lothian.
Of course, changes on this scale can be unsettling for staff and we are
looking at what support we can give, including the development of a new
Career Transition Service. We will also continue to engage with both staff
and trade unions as the proposals develop.
City Region Deal
I've periodically mentioned progress towards an Edinburgh
City Region Deal, and I'm pleased to report this month that we have now
had constructive, initial engagement with both the Scottish Government and UK
Governments. The next stage towards delivery has been commissioned, and our development
partners are now in place. Further, a recent University of Edinburgh event
also saw significant interest in our recent progress from ResPublica who have extensive
experience in assisting the development of City Deals across the UK. These are all early positive signs, with a lot of work still in front of
us, but all six local authorities involved are continuing to focus hard on
the aim-at-hand: delivering a Deal that will help ensure continued economic
growth and a reduction in inequality across the whole South East Scotland
A new online directory, Trusted Traders Edinburgh,
launched this week to help residents choose contractors with confidence. After being carefully checked out by our Trading Standards team,
contractors are accepted as members and their details added to the website.
Around 40 traders and businesses have already signed up, creating a new 'go
to list' for people looking for services such as home repairs. Customers can
use the directory to find local contractors' details with the reassurance
that they are reliable and have been fully vetted. Edinburgh's scheme was created after a public consultation found that many
home owners are hesitant about organising shared repairs in common areas as
they don't know how to find a trustworthy trader.
The Lord Provost has just hosted the City's Annual Volunteering Awards
ceremony, recognising the contribution of over 100 outstanding volunteers,
including his Inspiring Volunteer of the Year 2015, Malik Masood, who has
campaigned over many years for older and ethnic minority people. Very well
deserved. You may not be aware that Edinburgh is home to 2,630 charitable
organizations, which make an annual economic contribution of £2.7bn, employ
15,000 people and are supported by over a third of residents who regularly
volunteer. I am delighted, therefore, to report that the Compact Partnership,
currently in its tenth year of operation, has recently agreed an
ambitious new Strategic Framework that will continue to guide public and
voluntary sector relations over the next five to 10 years.
As ever in Edinburgh, residents won't be short of doorstep discoveries
this summer. From the biggest ever Fringe programme to a whole host of events
and activities at the Council's museums and galleries, there's something to
suit all budgets. At the Museum of Edinburgh, two brand new interactive
exhibits have opened. Free-to-enter, they bring the stories behind some
of the city's treasured artefacts to life including items belonging to
Edinburgh-born WW1 British Commander Earl Haig, who created The Royal British
Legion. Meanwhile, at the City Art Centre, visitors can find sensational Scottish
art spanning 350 years and more than 150 paintings, sketches and pieces of
sculpture. A visit to Scottish
Art: People, Places, Ideas is free.
Stay in the
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