Edinburgh Greens published their manifesto this weekend.

Some of their candidates appear to have gathered in Princes Street Gardens to launch the 44 page document called Think Global Act Local.

It was in 2007 that Edinburgh first elected a Green councillor and their numbers have been on the increase since then, with eight elected in 2017, Gavin Corbett, Melanie Main, Susan Rae, Alex Staniforth, Claire Miller, Mary Campbell, Chas Booth and Steve Burgess.

They claim credit for Edinburgh declaring a Climate Emergency and in ensuring funding for the million trees to be planted in the city. The group also claim an influence in introducing 20mph speed limits during the last administration which was again an SNP Labour coalition but with Labour as the senior partner.

The manifesto sets out ways the Greens will make transformative change in the city to meet the target already set for Edinburgh to become net zero carbon by 2030. Transparency is key to the Greens who say they want to review the way the council engages and consults, promoting again the petitions process.

Transport – Greens will create a system that will help “deliver a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions” all with a view to improving air quality and public health. They will reintroduce a bike hire scheme and create priorities for active travel with a 500 km network of citywide segregated routes, while expanding the cycle storage scheme. The party would like to expand “Playing Out” days creating car-free days on some streets for children to play there.

Housing – Greens will ensure that homes are really affordable to rent or buy and that they are easy to keep warm. Planning decisions will require new build properties to achieve net zero targets and will have high energy efficiency ratings. They are keen on district heating as a way to solve the problem of damp homes, using a low carbon source. They are opposed to short term holiday lets, and want to now introduce the short term control area to regulate these.

Economy – jobs and work in the city will contribute to meeting the climate targets.

Education – Greens want a city where children can play and travel safely and where staff, parents and pupils have a greater say in the way schools are run.

Health – Greens want ample green space and community support to ensure people are in good health. Social care will be locally delivered through an accountable care service. They also want the city to become “nature-rich” investing in blue and green spaces all over Edinburgh for recreational use and improvement of wellbeing.

Sport and culture – all such facilities will be accessible to everyone.

Local democracy – Greens want community councils to have a stronger voice in planning matters with four local planning panels to consider local transport or environment issues, and they would like more participative budgeting schemes – such as £eith Chooses.

Environment – set up local re-use hubs to help everyone reuse more household goods and minimise waste and fly-tipping, and also encourage a circular economy. Tackle graffiti and fly-tipping with action and enforcement. Increase the number of “street cleansing carts” on the city’s streets in every neighbourhood.

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