Councillor’s Report from Cllr. Catherine Fullerton, August/September 2021

Report for Ward 7 – Sighthill/Gorgie

Councillor Catherine Fullerton – August/September 2021

General

Despite the holiday season, there has been a lot going on to keep me busy.   

Some Council highlights –    

Council Care Homes   

You may have read in the Evening News about the closure of Council care homes.  The current position is that Drumbrae care home will be re-provisioned and managed by NHS Lothian to provide complex care needs for older people.  The other 4 Council owned care homes are being reviewed over the next 12-18 months in order to meet the high standards required by the Care Commission.

Edinburgh’s First Older People’s Champion – I am delighted to report that I was appointed at the Council meeting in August.   I join another 17 Champions throughout Scotland.  I‘m fully committed to work with Age Scotland and the local Forums to make life better for our older people and make sure older people’s voices are heard at the heart of our decision-making process.  There is lots of do and I will report again next month.

At the Full Council meeting on 23 September, I raised the following  “The energy crisis will plunge more people into fuel poverty with the rise in October to be followed by another in April.  Already 630,000 people in Scotland are living in fuel poverty which is quite shocking.  As the Older People’s Champion, I am hugely concerned older people and those on low incomes will have to make a choice on whether to heat and light their homes or eat, hard to believe this is happening in 2021.  It beggars belief that the UK Government is supporting a US fertiliser firm CF Industries to restart its fertiliser factory, with tens of millions of pounds, while allowing energy firms to fail and leaving our constituents vulnerable.  The Council Leader agreed this is a real issue and said he was convinced this was a sustained attack on the very poorest in our society by the UK Government.  I will report further on this.

Community One Stop Shop (COSS) – As a member of the Board of COSS, I wanted to give you a few highlights on the fantastic work COSS has carried out in the last year.

Continued ……

8,882 times the service has been accessed; 2 new services created, the Fuel Bank and the Pantry which works on a co-operative model with a membership fee.  Members can access 10 items with a value of £20-£25 for £3.50 per visit.   This is well used and has currently a waiting list.

2654 snack packs provided as part of the holiday support; 2,400 volunteer hours given; 4284 food parcels distributed, feeding approx. 10,824 households. (an increase in 49% from the year before);

The Advice Service, is a much needed valuable and well used service as is the Employability service which has supported 303 people with 31 getting into work. 

Proposed City Plan 2030 – The plan will address Climate Change, Affordability, Providing more homes, Providing more jobs, and How people move around. Here is the link to report for your information.https://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/cityplan2030

Some Scottish Government news

Here are some highlights from the Scottish Government’s work programme:

  • Continue work to reform council tax and will seek to legislate to exempt young people from it until they reach the age of 22.
  • Provide funding for councils to support recruitment of 3,500 additional teachers and 500 classroom assistants – over and above the 1,400 recruited during the pandemic
  • Provide a £1.25 million fund to help libraries stay open, particularly in areas of deprivation.
  • Provide £500,000 to help support local authorities to accommodate unaccompanied asylum-seeking children arriving in Scotland
  • Plan to bring forward a Wellbeing and Sustainable Development Bill, that will place duties on public bodies and local government to take account of the impact of their decisions on sustainable development, in Scotland and internationally.
  • Continuation of tax breaks, such as the Business Bonus Scheme – taking smaller firms out of having to pay business rates. This 100% rates relief will continue for the retail, leisure, aviation and hospitality sectors until March 2022
  • Support for workers to re-skill and prepare for new green jobs, and support to help young people onto the jobs ladder, with a guaranteed place in either a job, training or education.

Constituency  

Roads – Following many enquiries, I can confirm the resurfacing of Stenhouse Drive is currently programmed to start on 18/10/21 and Stevenson Drive programmes for 01/01/22.

Constituency Work – During the month of August I dealt with 54enquires from constituents and in September 59.  This averages out over a working week as 3 new cases each day.    Thes enquiries were on a range of topics, including spaces for people, roads, city fibre, waste, housing, flooding and anti-social behaviour.

Stevenson Drive – many constituents will aware of the issues with speeding cars and accidents near Stenhouse Cross.  Roads and the Police are looking into this to see what measures can be put in place and I am liaising with the family concerned.   I will report further.

Flu/Covid booster letters are going out now.  If you have any enquiries, call the vaccination helpline 0800 030 8013.  I would encourage everyone who is eligible to take up the offer.

Diary – (random extract from w/b 13/9/21)

Meetings held via Teams, Zoom or in person with social distancing in place.

13/9 – 9.30 Licensing Convener/Vice-Convener meeting; 11.30 SNP Group meeting; 12.30 Older People’s Champions Gathering; 16.00 Preparation for Board meeting; 18.00 Imaginate AGM and Board meeting

14/9 – 9.30 Meeting with constituent; 14.00 Meeting with constituent; 16.30 Meeting with constituent.

15/9 Administration day.  14.00 Meeting re. Wester Hailes Masterplan.

16/9 – 9.30 Licensing Sub meeting; 10.00 Broomhouse meeting/walkabout with constituent; 1300 Elected Members workshop; 16,00 Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival Board meeting

17/9 SNP National Conference;  Discussion with Cllr Dixon re. ward issues.

Finally…. Have you received Funeral Support Payment at any time? If you could spare one hour to share your experiences you’ll be given £30 as a thank you.

Researchers in the Scottish Government are running a study about Funeral Support Payment. They want to hear about your experience of applying for and receiving the benefit, to understand its impact and how it can be improved. Please click here for more details, and to learn how to take part: Funeral Support Payment research – mygov.scot

Here are some useful links

  • Scottish Welfare Fund  – 0131 529 5299 or email welfarefundteam@edinburgh.gov.uk
  • Anti-social behaviour or noise complaints – contact the South West Family and Household Support Team on 0131 469 5150 or email southwestFHS@edinburgh.gov.uk .
  • Anything relating to criminal behaviour – contact the Police on 101 or in an emergency call 999.
  • Bin or other waste issues – email Waste@edinburgh.gov.uk or telephone 0131 608 1100
  • Fly tipping or illegal dumping  – report online at

https://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/litter-flytipping/flytipping

·         Road and pavement emergencies – if the issue is an immediate threat to safety please use this emergency contact number

  • 0800 23 23 23 Monday to Thursday 8am to 5pm and Friday 8am to 3.40pm
  • 0131 200 2000 weekdays 5pm to 8am and weekends.

As always, if you have an issue you would like my help with, please contact me by email or telephone listed below.

Stay safe and well.

Councillor Catherine Fullerton

SNP – Sighthill/Gorgie Ward

Tel: 0131 529 4993

Email  cathy.fullerton@edinburgh.gov.uk                                                           30 September 2021


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