‘Our City’ – the full report of ‘Another Edinburgh is Possible’s’ survey of the views of Edinburgh residents is published today. You can read the report online or download it via this link.
Here’s the report forward written by Mary Alexander
I am delighted to have been asked to write the foreword to this excellent report reflecting the views of Edinburgh residents on council services both current and future.
The report highlights significant public concerns over the state of local services and the focus and priorities of the City of Edinburgh Council which are ‘out of kilter’ with residents’ views. The findings show residents have some sympathy with the council over the financial restrictions imposed by the Scottish and UK Governments and praises council workers who strive to do their best against the odds. It also makes some notable points and recommendations over how and what local services should be delivered.
We believe this report should be a ‘wake up’ call to Edinburgh’s politicians and service delivery leaders committed to tackling poverty and inequality and delivering a decent public service to all in the community. The strategic recommendations over Housing, Transport, Tourism and the In-Housing of Edinburgh’s Public Services are sensible ones that cannot be ignored in any serious attempt to end poverty in this wealthy city. Alongside the recommendations of the Edinburgh Poverty Commission to promote “A Just Capital” and End Poverty in Edinburgh by 2030, we lay down a serious challenge to the Council to listen to its residents and communities and respond by using the budget process to reverse the decline in services; build more social housing and tackle the increasing inequality and poverty made worse by the pandemic. More secure and better paid jobs are key, particularly in the utilisation of public funds through commissioning and procuring services which too often do not reflect the ‘Fair Work’ principles
Another Edinburgh is Possible is an amalgamation of various community activist groups across Edinburgh who have come together to express their concerns and campaign for better local services. They are committed to shifting the paradigm of community activism and local democracy and this report is a promising start. The collective has commissioned, designed and delivered a credible research project which provides a valuable insight for local decision makers. Edinburgh’s political leaders must pay heed to this report, those who produced it and, importantly, the voices of residents contained within it.
Depute Regional Secretary for Scotland, Unite the Union.
Edinburgh Poverty Commission member
Fair Work Convention member