Edinburgh Labour today launched its Moving Edinburgh Forward consultation document ahead of the 2012 local council elections.

The document, which was unveiled along with the group’s full list of candidates for next May’s poll, endorses a move towards a co-operative method of local government in the city. The party promise to engage with local communities and to involve all political parties in decision-making under their plans.

Speaking at the launch Labour group leader, Andrew Burns, stressed the benefits of a co-operative council and dismissed any similarities to David Cameron’s ‘Big Society’. Burns said:- ” A co-operative council is in essence a council that does things with its communities, as opposed to doing things to its communities. Ed Milliband signed up to the co-operative model long before Cameron’s big society was launched. It’s more John Lewis than Easy Jet.”

 The document highlights a number of areas which could be implemented in a co-operative manner. These include setting up a ‘childcare co-op’, the re-introduction of community newspapers and giving local sports clubs a role in running the pitches and pavilions they use.

Burns feels that the party is showing commitment to the city by launching a consultative document six months ahead of the elections, and by being the first group from any party in Scotland to select all its candidates.  Burns said: –  “It is an absolute statement of our intent to move Edinburgh forward at next May’s local elections.

 “We are taking a really bold step today. We are opening up a public dialogue about our ideas and our visions a full six months before the election. I think it is a completely unprecedented move.”

As well as consulting local residents, the party pledges to involve councillors from across the political spectrum in any decisions under a Labour-led administration. On the prospect of working with the Lib Dems under Jenny Dawe or Steve Cardownie’s SNP Burns said:- “I rule out nothing. It is down to the members of the public to make the decision. We will do what is right for Edinburgh.”

The Edinburgh Reporter is running a live web chat with Andrew Burns and other members of the city council’s Labour Group on Monday morning from 10 a.m. and you will find us here.  Please send us your questions now or join in the discussion online.

The full list of Labour party candidates is as follows:-

Ward 1 – Almond Ward: Billy Fitzpatrick

Ward 2 – Pentland Hills Ward: Ricky Henderson

Ward 3 – Drum Brae/Gyle Ward: Karen Keil

Ward 4 – Forth Ward: Cammy Day and Vicki Redpath

Ward 5 – Inverleith Ward: Lesley Hinds

Ward 6 – Corstorphine/Murrayfield Ward: Tom McInally

Ward 7 – Sighthill/Gorgie Ward: Eric Milligan and Donald Wilson

Ward 8 – Colinton/Fairmilehead Ward: Eric Barry

Ward 9 – Fountainbridge/Craiglockhart Ward: Andrew Burns

Ward 10 – Meadows/Morningside Ward: Paul Godzik

Ward 11 – City Centre Ward: Karen Doran

Ward 12 – Leith Walk Ward: Angela Blacklock and Nick Gardner

Ward 13 – Leith Ward: Gordon Munro

Ward 14 – Craigentinny/Duddingston Ward: Joan Griffiths and Alex Lunn

Ward 15 – Southside/Newington Ward: Ian Perry

Ward 16 – Liberton/Gilmerton Ward: Bill Cook and Norma Hart

Ward 17 – Portobello/Craigmillar Ward: Maureen Child and David Walker

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