Food growing and EV charging points included among increased city budget ambitions

INCREASED food growing, an improvement to the way communal bins are organised and an expansion of electric vehicle charging points are among a suite of ambitions identified by an one-off £21m budget announcement by The City of Edinburgh Council.

Begins a council announcement (here): “Elected members on The City of Edinburgh Council have… agreed options for investing around £21m in one-off additional funding.”

It continues: “Following confirmation by the Scottish Government of additional funding for local authorities, and, after making provision for the anticipated on-going financial impacts of the pandemic over the next two years, council officers identified up to £21m which could be made available to address budget pressures, anticipated shortfalls in savings delivery and other member priorities in 2021/22 and 2022/23.”

Not all the targets are explained, in any great detail.

Says the announcement, among agreed investment options:

  • Roads and pavements infrastructure – recognising the impact of prolonged winter weather, the council will invest an additional £2m extra in repairs to the roads and pavements network including local residential areas and an extra £4m to improve surface condition for all users – those walking, wheeling, cycling, using public transport and motorists.
  • Street cleaning and gritting – we will invest £300k to improve both street cleansing operations and winter gritting making our streets cleaner and safer.
  • Communal bins – £1.1 million in this programme to improve organisation and capacity in communal bins across the city, bringing forward investment to improve the service and address the funding shortfall in delivering the programme in full.
  • Carbon net zero engagement – £700,000 to take forward citizen communication and engagement to bring about behaviour change assisting the city in reaching carbon net zero target.
  • EV infrastructure – £250,000 to expand EV charging infrastructure for the Council’s own fleet, ensuring that the council leads by example by making our vehicle fleet carbon zero.
  • Up recycling – £200,000 to improve the council’s recycling performance.
  • 20-minute neighbourhoods – £500,000 to drive forward the delivery of 20-minute neighbourhoods, making it easier for people to get to and access the services they need in their community.
  • Food growing – £130,000 to be invested, recognising the increase in demand for local food growing opportunities. This is investment to expand provision.
  • Edinburgh bike hire scheme – the approved… motion states: “We recognise the popularity of the current scheme and seek to continue with a cost-effective and robust scheme fit for the future.”

Picture: Edinburgh City Chambers

Picture credit: Place Design Scotland