On Thursday 19th April I attended the Leith Walk Hustings at St Mary’s Parish Church, Bellevue Crescent, organised by that most special of local community newspapers, the Broughton Spurtle. The evening was expertly chaired by Harald Toberman, who gave each candidate 3 minutes to introduce themselves, and then 90 seconds to answer each question. The Spurtle’s summary of the evening can be found here, and this is what I said in my introductory remarks. I’ll post my responses to the questions from members of the audience a little later.
My introduction (more-or-less what I said on the night)
Thank you to the Spurtle team for organising these hustings and thank you all for coming. I am Maggie Chapman, and am honoured to have been the Green councillor for Leith Walk for the last 5 years. I am very pleased to be here, representing the Scottish Green Party, and seeking re-election on 3rd May. As a little bit of background to me, when I am not being a councillor, I teach geography and environmental philosophy at Edinburgh Napier University. I am an active member of the EIS union. I am standing for re-election with three main priorities for Leith Walk, and for Edinburgh as a whole.
Firstly, I want to put your concerns and interests first, and ensure the Council can harness the creativity and imagination of the people and communities who live and work in the city. Greens want to give you back your Council and your city, involving you in the decision making processes of the Council, and ensuring that your views are listened to properly.
Secondly, I want to ensure that the Council is instrumental in creating worthwhile and meaningful jobs. Edinburgh is a fantastic city to live and work in, and we must ensure that the Council supports jobs that are good for communities, jobs that pay the Living Wage, and green jobs like those in insulation and renewable energy.
Thirdly, I want to make sure the Council invests properly in preventative services now, to ensure that we can cope with future pressures. We are going through a very difficult time, but we cannot afford to jeopardise the wellbeing of future generations by irresponsible behaviour now.
These come together in what Greens call the triple bottom line – ensuring economic, social and environmental justice – to create a better future for us all.
The Edinburgh Greens local manifesto is available online – do have a read if you’re interested in our other priorities and plans for Edinburgh for the next 5 years.