Many of you will know my commitment to ensuring the north of Edinburgh shares in our Capital’s success. I believe we have a real opportunity to change the waterfront and north of the city from its industrial base to a modern vibrant, working and living community. If we are bold and imaginative I think we can really make this under-utilised area the “go-to” place in this fantastic city.
Edinburgh College moved here, Scottish Gas has its headquarters in Granton and the Scottish Government and National Museums have substantial interests, along with the council’s own interests including the Granton Gas Tower and Caroline Park station building. We therefore have a solid base to work from in pulling a strategy together to regenerate the north.
As part of my work leading this, I was pleased to visit Dundee last month to find out more about the £1 billion regeneration of its waterfront, including the opening of the V&A. I was impressed by the transformative project, the developer and investment take-up, the jobs created and the tourism interest. I am keen that Edinburgh learns from other areas so that we get the best possible plan in place for our capital city, whether that’s Dundee, London, Helsinki or elsewhere.
It’s not just about iconic buildings (although that can and should be part of it). It’s about maximising the potential of Granton, ensuring quality jobs, housing and business interests with decent transport connections and ensuring connected and empowered communities. I am committed to this project and you will be hearing much more about developments throughout the year.
On another note, I wanted to take this opportunity to say huge congratulations to two quite iconic organisations in our city delivering very different but amazing feats. Firstly to VOCAL, the voice of carers across in Edinburgh and Midlothian. For many of us their work is invaluable by supporting carers who provide vast unpaid care to relatives and friends. I wanted to put on record my thanks for all the work they do and for their 25 years of service to Edinburgh and Midlothian citizens.
Secondly to our amazing, award-winning publicly-owned bus company Lothian Buses – I’ve lost count of the number of awards they win yearly, their skilled engineering and driving staff, the great support behind the scenes, and a strong trade union working to ensure the best bus company provides the best conditions for its staff. This year sees the centenary of our fantastic bus company, and I have lodged a motion with the council asking that the Lord Provost celebrate this huge achievement across the city. The company and all its staff are a credit to the Capital and neighbouring authorities.
I wish I had time to write about Brexit, but it would undoubtedly have changed by the time you had read this! Let’s just say it’s the biggest political farce ever.
Finally, on Thursday you will have your chance to make sure Leith Walk continues to have a Labour voice. My friend and colleague Nick Gardner has been knocking on everyone’s doors, listening to their issues and taking action on them. Make sure you vote on Thursday – Nick Gardner #1.
Cammy Day is the deputy leader of Edinburgh City Council