Full council meets today
The full council of 63 councillors meets today at the City Chambers. There is a full agenda and you may either attend in person to sit in the Public Gallery or watch online as it happens or as a recording after it has finished. Councillors have posed a list of 33 questions for written answer by the various conveners – the answers will be published at the foot of this page here by the time this article is published online. The topics are wide and varied and include meals, coffee and biscuits for councillors at full council meetings, jet washing of streets, the legality of double yellow lines, the number of empty council homes and once again the rearrangement of Picardy Place.
The first part of the meeting will be devoted to the proposed redrawing of the boundaries of community council areas and the Phase 2 consultation which will begin on 12 February if councillors agree. The idea is to reduce the size of population which each community council represents to around 14,000 residents or less. For example Corstorphine and Drum Brae Community Councils would be split into three new areas – Corstorphine and Carrick Know, Gyle and East and West Craigs. The changes are intended to create better representation by community councils.
In the case of the active New Town and Broughton CC there was no consensus on the way the boundary might be redrawn and no amendments will take place at this point. There are to be elections for community councils at some point this year, although timing will depend on The Prime Minister calling a General Election, but it is thought best if the boundaries were redrawn in advance.
On the agenda of the main meeting there are provisions set out to set up a recruitment committee to replace the Chief Executive Andrew Kerr who will retire on 14 June. The salary for this position is set nationally and lies in the band between £191,413 and £200,617. In addition a further fee is paid in relation to election counts.
The Liberal Democrat group leader Cllr Kevin Lang has asked that the Council Leader writes to the First Minister demanding that the additional £45 million which will come to Scottish councils as a result of Barnett consequentials (if funding for certain matters is awarded in England then similar funding has to come to Scotland) is paid over in full. This money would help to address the shortfall which will arise if Edinburgh Council complies with the Government’s direction to freeze council tax. Council officers have said that if council tax rises by the same amount as last year, five per cent, then the shortfall will be £1.4 million. COSLA claims the Government is not fully funding the freeze for all 32 local authorities, although the announcement by the First Minister stated that it would be paid for by The Scottish Government.
Cllr Nois-McVey has also raised the matter of the building at Anchorfield above the Prom Bar which was evacuated on 22 January. Advice had been given to the council at the beginning of December that the building was unsafe. The question is posed as to whether nearby tram works have caused this building damage, and the councillor wants more information on the condition of the tenement and an investigation into the cause.
Cllr Fullerton congratulates Hearts on their 150th anniversary and asks the Lord Provost to mark the anniversary, presumably by holding a Civic Reception, Cllr Lezley Marion Cameron notes the centenary of the Edinburgh Gilbert and Sullivan Society, Cllr Dalgleish notes the 120th anniversary of McDonald Road Library, and Culture Convener Cllr Val Walker mentions the 30th anniversary of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay.
Cycling Scotland training at Bridgend Farmhouse
At Sighthill Library
Do you love musicals? Then on Monday there is an event at the Sighthill Library which could just be for you.
Heritage visit to Leith Theatre
Visit Leith Theatre this month to find out what the team behind the restoration are doing to revive the theatre which has become increasingly important over recent years.
Our February issue
Our February issue is out now. With more on our exclusive story about Chief Constable Jo Farrell revealed in our centre spread and our new columnist Líam Rudden to entertain you with news of all the theatre you must see, we are pleased with this month’s issue. We hope you like it too.