At the same time we started a city-wide conversation about what local people wanted our priorities to be. Over a thousand detailed responses came back.
After two public drafts, we published our local manifesto in March, full of concrete plans for positive action rooted in Edinburgh's challenges and opportunities.
We're not hanging on the coat-tails of national government. And we're not promising more of the same. Our co-operative ideas are a radical departure from business as usual, and focus on devolving real power to local people.
This morning, the Edinburgh SNP website is flashing up pictures of Alex Salmond and promoting policies including extra police, the small business bonus and the council tax freeze. But these national policies from the Scottish Government will still be in place whoever you vote for on Thursday, and Salmond is not up for election. They are trying to pretend that this is a national vote. It isn't
The choice in these local elections has nothing to do with MSPs or national policies. We're voting to choose local government and local policies.
Edinburgh Labour is focused relentlessly on local policies designed for and in Edinburgh. Our core plans for a Co-operative Capital mean:
- Local groups working with advice from council professionals deciding for themselves on how to manage their local parks and amenities.
- Community assets like community centres transferred to the ownership of local groups working together.
- Disabled people making the decisions themselves on how best to use council resources to improve their lives.
- Groups of households and businesses co-operating to cut their fuel bills and provide green energy in their neighbourhood.
- Labour wants our city to be prosperous. We'll work with local firms to create real apprenticeships, and in return seek to reduce business rates for small and medium sized companies.
- Labour wants our city to be safe. We'll set up an anti-social behaviour unit, expand drug and alcohol programmes, and support voluntary groups offering safety to women at risk and other vulnerable groups.
- Labour wants our city to be well cared for. We'll protect green space from development, and we'll set up an Edinburgh fund to enable lower-rate borrowing for householders' energy efficiency improvements, repaid from fuel bill savings.
- Labour wants our city to be a good place to live. We'll support the city's festivals using a tourist tax, use planning powers to force developers to build on available land, and spend at least 5% of the transport budget on cycling.
- Labour wants our city to be fair. We'll set up a city-wide childcare co-op focused on need not profit, and we'll introduce the Living Wage for council staff and all firms who do business with the council.
- Labour wants our council to be competent. We'll end the tick-box culture and give front-line staff a direct say in budget decisions; and we'll invest in schools and support teachers to give our children the best possible start in life.
- Labour wants the council to put Edinburgh first. If we're the largest party we'll seek to form an administration of all the available talents across all parties, and focus on Edinburgh's needs, not Scottish Government targets.
Vote for the best possible local plans for Edinburgh. Vote Scottish Labour.