Saturday, November 29, 2014

CCIN Glasgow conference

I mentioned a few weeks ago, that I'd recently been elected Chair of the Cooperative Councils Innovation Network (CCIN) ...

... well, I'm please to report that the next CCIN quarterly-conference will - for the first time - take place here in Scotland. All the details, including the full agenda, are available on the CCIN website - and I'll just re-produce some fo the background detail below:


CCIN Glasgow Conference

CCIN Glasgow conference
CCIN Glasgow conference

The Co-operative Councils Innovation Network is delighted to host our first conference in Scotland, which reflects our national ambitions and aspiration of our network. The conference, which is being hosted by Glasgow City Council, will provide opportunities to exchange information and learning, and provides a major opportunity to profile the work and achievements of Co-operative Councils.

In addition to CCIN business meetings, the conference will include key speeches from Cllr Archie Graham, Deputy Leader, Glasgow City Council; Cllr Andrew Burns, Leader of City of Edinburgh Council and Chair of the CCIN; and Kevin Rush, Head of Economic Development at Glasgow City Council. There will also be workshops on cooperative approaches to economic development and tackling labour market exclusion; developing the co-operative sector and devolving power and changing organisational culture within councils.

To view the full agenda, please click here.



Friday, November 28, 2014

Corporate, Policy and Strategy Committee next Tuesday

Unbelievably; it's the December "Corporate Policy and Strategy" Committee next Tuesday ...

... all the papers/reports are now in the public domain: the main Agenda can be found here ---

--- and the individual reports are all up on Committee Papers on-Line (CPOL) linked from here.

Reports that may well attract some attention and debate:

Just click on any of the above links for access (as a PDF) to the specific report ...

... and, as mentioned before, all of the Policy and Strategy Committee gatherings are now being webcast live - and thereafter archived!

All available via here ;-)

Sadly (well, maybe not!) I'll be in Glasgow next Tuesday for a Cooperative Council Innovation Network (CCIN) event ... more of which to follow shortly! ... so my colleague, Steve Cardownie, will be in the Chair for this meeting.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

November Leader's Report

                                                                                                                               November 2014

Are you ready for winter? 


Andrew Burns
The Council has a crucial part to play in helping the city deal with whatever the weather has in store for us over the coming months and we have recently launched two campaigns to help residents get ready.

Our Ready for Winter campaign provides contact and other useful information to residents across the city, ensuring everyone can get the help and services they need. The council website's winter weather pages include details of priority road, cycle path and pavement gritting routes, plus an interactive map displaying the location of grit bins across the city.

Also, in recognition of the ever-increasing cost of energy, we've begun a Warm Your Home campaign to help people heat their homes as effectively and cheaply as possible.

As ever, but particularly at this time of year, please do take the time to look out for elderly neighbours and friends to make sure that they are safe and well.
Councillor Andrew Burns
Leader of the City of Edinburgh


Keeping to our pledges 


It's fair to say that politicians often make ambitious promises when canvassing for votes but how often do they voluntarily put their commitments up for public examination?

On taking office in May 2012, we set out 53 specific pledges that we aimed to deliver by 2017. These are based on a number of high level commitments, which include reducing poverty, inequality and deprivation, and maintaining and improving the quality of life in Edinburgh.

I am pleased to report that, thanks to recent developments such as the passing of a Private Bill allowing the new Portobello High School to be built on Portobello Park, we have now met 12 of the pledges with all but one of the remainder on track to be completed within our five year term.


Cooperative Capital 


One of our key pledges was to put the public back at the centre of decision-making. We want communities to be much more involved in planning, managing and delivering services; to give local people a greater sense of choice and control over the public services they use.

We have made some significant strides towards becoming a 'Cooperative Capital' in the past two years, establishing the city's first After Schools Club Co-op Charter and a Student Housing Co-op, while providing development support for the Craigmillar Eco-Housing project. Meanwhile, a number of energy co-ops, including the Edinburgh Community Solar Co-op and Castle Rock Edinvar's 'Our Power' initiative are also progressing well and will soon be delivering affordable and renewable energy to tenants.

Having become the first Scottish local authority to join the Co-operative Councils Innovation Network last year, I was delighted to accept the role of Chair recently - recognition of just how far we've come in such a short space of time.


Still time to have your say 


We're now around half way through our budget consultation and the response so far has been fantastic. Well over a thousand of you have completed our budget planner online, with a further 200 submitting comments by post or email.

If you haven't already done so, please take the time to have your say. The consultation period runs all the way through until Friday 19th December, and we will consider all feedback prior to setting the final 2015/16 Budget in February.

The planner also features on our newly established Consultation Hub, which helps you to find and participate in consultations of interest to you. I would recommend subscribing to the automated email alerts for new consultations as and when they come online.


Pride in our People 


I recently attended the Council's 'Pride in our People' Staff Awards ceremony in the Assembly Rooms and, once again, I was reminded of the outstanding quality and commitment of the staff who work for this city.

The Awards celebrate those who go that extra mile: the people who help us make Edinburgh such a great place to live, work and visit; recognising those on the frontline, the innovators, the leaders and the rising stars - the teams and individuals who've found a way to improve value and deliver our services better.

I want to repeat the thanks I gave on the night, not just to the winners and shortlisted entrants but also to staff right across the Council, who continue to play a marvelous role in making sure that everything works efficiently and effectively right across the Capital.


Stay in the picture 


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The City of Edinburgh Council

Saturday, November 15, 2014

November Full Council Meeting

The November Council Meeting is coming up - next Thursday (20th) ...

All the reports are now up on Committee Papers On-Line (CPOL) and you can access the main agenda directly here; and each of the individual reports separately via this link.

Of course - as ever, if you're so minded, you can watch all the proceedings live here ...

... or the meeting will be archived a few hours after it finishes for viewing at your leisure!

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Cooperative Councils Innovation Network - new Chair ;-)

In all the post-referendum melee; I've completely failed to mention that at the end of September (at their AGM) I was elected as the new Chair of the Coooperative Councils Innovation Network (CCIN) ... I've posted before about the Network (here, and links therein) and, obviously, the whole Cooperative-agenda is at the heart of the political programme that the current (local) Labour/SNP Capital Coalition is attempting to facilitate.

I'm thus delighted to have been elected as Chair of the CCIN - my brief Chair's message can be found here, and I'll simply reproduce the text below as well:


Message From the Chair

As a council leader, a ward councillor, and a member of my local community, I understand the scale of the challenges that we are all facing locally.

Many communities are disengaged from local democracy; councils can seem like distant bureaucracies; and, as organisations, we as councils are struggling to manage huge funding reductions just as local people are putting more and more demand on local services.

If councils are going to survive in this context, and if communities are going to thrive, then we all need to start doing things differently. We need to work together, in genuine and equal partnership with local people, to make the most of the strengths that lie in our communities. We need to step out of the town hall and back into communities to tackle old issues in new ways. Most importantly, we must drive real innovation, with local people at its core, if we are to face the challenges ahead of us.

This is exactly why the Co-operative Councils Innovation Network exists. We believe that the co-operative principles of empowerment, equal partnership, and collective action offer a positive route not simply to survive through tough times, but to enable local communities to thrive, supported by relevant, meaningful, and empowering local public services.

The network gives us the opportunity to share what works, learning from each others’ practical experiences to translate cutting-edge policy thinking into hands-on practice right across the country. Our work is defining the future of local public services – not for local people, but with local people – and putting local people back at the heart of what we do.

Cllr Andrew Burns
Chair of the Co-operative Councils Innovation Network
Leader of the City of Edinburgh Council