Councillor’s Report from Cllr. Catherine Fullerton, February 2021

Image credit: City of Edinburgh Council

At our December 2020 meeting, Gorgie Dalry Community Council agreed to post written reports submitted by our local ward Councillors for those residents who cannot make it to Community Council meetings. Gorgie Dalry Community Council is an impartial organisation and publishes information provided by any of our local elected representatives regardless of party allegiance, with the exception of explicit canvassing material. The opinions and positions expressed are those of the representative and not of GDCC.

“Gorgie/Dalry Community Council asked Ward Councillors if they wished to submit a report to let residents know what their Elected Members do and I am pleased to supply one. I would also like to thank all the Community Councils in the Ward for their work in drawing items to our attention alongside their own initiatives.

I thought a bit of information on the Council  may first be helpful.

Council overview

Edinburgh’s population is growing and getting older. Currently 526,835 of whom 80,554 are over 65. The annual Council income is £1 billion from the Scottish Government Grant, Council Tax collections, fees, charges and non-domestic rent from the 20,142 Council owned houses which is ringfenced and spent on repairs, renovations and new housebuilding.  

The revenue budget is 20/21 for the Council is split by service area – Education £443m, Social Work £332m Roads, Transport, Planning – £112m, Environment £53m, Housing £36m, Culture £29m. We also have a capital budget for housebuilding £96m, early learning & childcare £13m for example. Being part of the Council Administration, SNP & Labour Members in Ward 7 attend Committees and Sub Committees to make decisions that will achieve a balanced budget each year to satisfy legislation. I would be happy to provide further statistics on Council services if requested.

My work

I was elected in 2012 and became Vice Convener of the Education, Children & Families Committee. I was also on the Head Teachers committee, Corporate Parenting and Recruitment committees. I was a member of the Culture & Communities Committee for 1 year until 2020. I attend an SNP Group meeting every Monday and every Tuesday evening before the Full Council meeting on a Thursday. I am also Group Secretary to the SNP Group.

In 2017 I was reselected and became Convener of the Regulatory Committee which meets every 6 weeks and Licensing Sub Committee which meets every 2-4 weeks depending on business. The meetings are held over 2 days and we deal with all licences except liquor. The Regulatory Committee deals with policy and Licensing Sub deals with, amongst others, HMOs, Landlord Registration, Street Trading, Parades, Markets and Taxi and Private Hire Car licences and renewals. In 2020 Councillor Dixon was appointed as the Vice Convener owing to the amount of business we had to deal with. 

Constituency Work

  • Cases dealt with from 8-31 January = 58
  • Cases from 1-11 February = 51
  • All cases completed with the exception of new or ongoing cases. These figures do not include invitations.
  • Constituency enquiries are on a range of topics e.g. anti-social behaviour, housing, litter and fly tipping and waste complaints.

Community

I attend regularly the Community Council meetings and other local meetings including Joining the Dots, Walkabouts, meetings with residents and officials. I am on the Board of the following

  • Community One Stop Shop (COSS)
  • Smilechildcare
  • St Brides Community Centre
  • A Friend of Saughton Park and member of SPLAT (Litter picking group)
  • An advisor to Hutchison Vale Community Football Club
  • I am also on the Board of Edinburgh International Jazz & Blues Festival and Edinburgh International Childrens’ Festival (Imaginate)

Some of the main issues I have dealt with over the past few months are:

  • Anti-social behaviour in Saughton Mains and Saughton Park
  • Parking issues in Sighthill
  • Planning issues in Sighthill with 5G installations
  • Meetings with Love Gorgie Farm to discuss their inclusion programme
  • Housing and neighbour anti-social behaviour
  • Pushing to get Balgreen Library re-opened at the earliest opportunity
  • Litter and bin collections and fly tipping
  • Along with the Community Council, establishing a Christmas tree light up in Stenhouse

Whilst I concentrate most of my efforts on Sighthill, Parkhead, Broomhouse, Saughton Mains, Stenhouse and Whitson areas, that does not mean I do not get involved in the Gorgie/Dalry and Longstone areas which Councillor Dixon covers. We meet to discuss casework every week or more and lead together on bigger issues and meet with officers to discuss them.

Here is an extract of my diary from 1-7 February 2021

Monday

  • 10.30 meeting with constituent via Zoom
  • 11.00 meeting with Regulatory Services Manager
  • 11.30 -13.30 SNP Group meeting
  • 14.00 -17.00 Licensing Sub Committee meeting
  • 19.00 Gorgie/Dalry Community Council

Tuesday 

  • 9.30 – 16.00 Licensing Sub Committee meeting
  • 16.00 – 17.00 Briefing on City Mobility
  • 17.00 – 19.00 SNP Group meeting
  • 19.00- 20.00 Sighthill, Parkhead & Broomhouse Community Council
  • 20.00- 22.00 Branch meeting

Wednesday

  • Out of office

Thursday

  • 9.00 pre Council meeting
  • 10.00 Full Council meeting
  • 19.30 Meeting with constituents

Friday

  • 8.30 meeting with Regulatory Services Manager
  • 10.00 meeting with Housing officer and constituent
  • 11.00 meeting with Edinburgh Play Wellbeing and Cllr Dickie

Saturday

  • 10-00-12.00 Saughton Park Litter pick

Sunday

  • 15.00 – 16.30 Walkabout with Stenhouse Saughton Mains & Whitson Community Council reps.

I check out my emails daily and direct them to the appropriate officers for response.  Of course, all this work would not be possible without my assistant Gail who is invaluable with her efficiency and compassion.

Finally, I have always lived in the ward, raised in Longstone, Dalry (and worked there too), Gorgie, and now Whitson.  I shop in the ward, have relatives living around the ward and promote the ward at every opportunity.

This is the first report of its kind to give readers an understanding of the work I carry out as your Councillor.  I promise the next will be one page only.

Feel free to contact me on any Council issue you may have by email or phone, details below.  Stay safe and well.”

Residents can contact Cllr. Fullerton via email to: cathy.fullerton@edinburgh.gov.uk or by calling 0131 529 4993. Correspondence address: The City of Edinburgh Council, City Chambers, High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1YJ


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