The Green group on the council published their budget plans earlier in the week for the council meeting on Thursday when all political groups set out their budget proposals for the coming year.
Their principal aims are to address the climate emergency and their budget proposals for council spending in the next financial year are in a document called the Green Recovery Budget.
It includes proposals for the council to transform its own fleet by introducing electric cargo bikes for council and third-party use and switching any fleet from diesel to sustainable power. They also want to spend £10 million in the capital budget to transform parks and green spaces with investment in new toilets in premier parks and better facilities in Pentland Hills Regional Park.
Another green policy is to spend more on enhancing active travel with specific funding to make the Spaces for People initiatives permanent where appropriate and to deal with a backlog in closed footpaths and bridges to create green links. The proposals are presented in full below.
The key points are to include:
– £10m in revenue budget for Green Recovery + £2m Spend to Save proposals
– £2m for Poverty Delivery Plan (including £32k taken from the civic hospitality budget to fund Citizen Group)
– £32m capital investment in parks, active travel, schools and community facilities
– Rent freeze for council housing
– Funded through rejecting the Scottish Government council tax freeze and proceeding with planned Council tax rise which raises another £5.2m. The Greens also challenge the Scottish Government to hand over the £9.6m it has earmarked for Edinburgh but is withholding
Green councillor Gavin Corbett said: “The dominant theme for this year’s budget is, of course, COVID-19. However, behind that lies the even bigger priority of the climate emergency and the council’s commitment to be zero carbon by 2030. Squaring that circle means that the council needs a Green Recovery Budget. That is a budget which funds action to recover from the pandemic but in a way which leads towards a sustainable city.
“That is why Green councillors have published a Green Recovery Budget which earmarks £10m for a Green Recovery programme – transforming transport, reducing energy use, tackling waste and creating jobs. If we get it right, it can put Edinburgh at the forefront of cities across the world meeting the biggest challenges of the 21st century. The clock is ticking ever louder.”