Wednesday, November 18, 2009

'DONT' Care & Support Services!!

Sad headline - yes, but even sadder, its true!

tomorrow 19/11/09, there are about 10 deputations, a record on one issue!! and this sadly being the SNP/Lib Dems lack of care and support to some of the most vulnererable in the city..

the full report , that goes no where near enough can be accessed here (care & support)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Read it and weep

Always glad to hear that opposition councillors in my ward enjoy reading my blog.. ;-)

fell free to comment - dont be shy!

Cammy Day

Labour Councillor

Forth Ward

Truth or not?

We hear that the back tracking SNP and Liberals have at last realised the stupidity of their proposals to freeze applications for Direct Payments - maybe they have some compassion after all?.. but...

What about all those who were told to wait until the tender was awarded to see if their existing provider had kept the contract? They haven't yet (or have only just) applied for a Direct Payment - are they to remain frozen? And - the rate of the Direct Payment will be all important ... if it's to be at the new contract rate, then that's going to be very, very different from the current rate (see paragraph 2.6 here).And one very important point needs to be remembered - if it wasn't for "our weird 25% rule" and the "student stunt" inflicted on the poor Finance and Resources Committee on the 27th October, this whole policy would have been approved there and then. Current Direct Payment applications would now be frozen - full stop.The whole sorry episode, and the appalling way its been politically managed, just underlines how crucial decent scrutiny is for any local democracy ...... and that democratic process needs to be defended, as its obvious to a blind-man that the current crop of politicians in charge would diminish - even further - the Opposition's ability to scrutinise their decisions at the slightest opportunity

shameful! here's what some of those affected had to say


Well done to Labours excellent candidate Willie Bain, who thrashed the SNP in the by election in Glasgow North East!!

As with my own by-election, LABOUR were the outright winners, and the Lib Dems trailed far far behind, this time losing their deposit! (see graph opposite)

Labour today scored its best ever result in a Scottish by-election in living memory - seeing an increase in our share of the vote and comprehensively beating the SNP.

The newly-elected Labour MP for Glasgow North East, Willie Bain, said: "This is a great day for Labour. It is an absolute honour to stand here as the new MP for Glasgow North East and say that this is a resounding victory for Gordon Brown and Labour. "This by-election has been about many things - most of all jobs and the economy. "The people have had a chance to have their say. They have backed Gordon Brown and his efforts to secure our economic recovery.
to read the full story click WILLIE BAIN WINS FOR LABOUR

Sunday, November 08, 2009

New Broughton High School

It was great at last to see the official opening of the new Broughton High School, where many young people from the Forth Ward atttend.

Well done to the Head Teacher, Lesley Johnston and her team for a great celebration, and to all of the pupils who took part in it! Well done

I was pleased to see one of Labours 34 schools being opened by the SFA Chief, Gordon Smith, and his confirming that state of the art, football academies will be built here at the school - another reason to celebrate.

I spoke to the Architect and was interesting to hear some of the complications along the way!

I hope this new school, will provide a state of the art teaching and learning facility for many years to come

West Pilton Children & Families Centre

You may have read that more cuts are on the cards for North Edinburgh.. not content with ripping £800,000 of local funding out, closing down the local community centre, proposing to close 2 local primary schools and cancelling the tram to the most needed part of the city,, there are now proposals to close West Pilton Children and Families Centre and merge into the new High School - now whilst that may be the best for some, its not for all,,, and where was the consultation?

Many parents have contacted me, and a great turnout locally showed the real concern at lack of any consultation on the proposals,, thankfully after pressure from Labour Councillors the parents are now fully involved in progressing plans, lets hope its a true consultation and not tick box excercise!

Carrie Mac

I was really pleased to have been invited to Carrie Mac;s launch of her debut solo album last week.. Carrie Macdonald, from Drylaw, recently won the Forth One to Watch award, and since then hasnt stopped on her path to success in the music industry.

For a taste of Carrie Macs top tunes, have a listen on her myspace page

of course - buy the album too!

Do they Care??

I mentioned the recent report on the award of contracts for the provision of Care and Support Services just last week ...... well, since that meeting last week myself, and many of my colleagues, are completely awash with correspondence from concerned service-users who are very, very vocally expressing serious worries about just what is taking place.Obviously yet another classic example of significant changes being poorly communicated ... I sense a lot of angry people may be present at the Full Council Meeting in a couple of weeks time

Doe sthis SNP/Lib Dem adminstration care for those most vulnerable in Edinburgh??

Monday, August 31, 2009

Royston Parents Fury

School Property Review = CUTS (click here for doc)

I attended a meeting on thursday night - organised by the Royston Primary School Parent Council, attended by around 100 local people, parents, children and community reps. It was great to see the lady who was the first pupil back in 1937, supporting the local campaign, and speaking highly of the school

MArk Lazarowicz MP and Malcolm Chisholm MSP spoke out in support of the school, and how this flies in the face of the SNP Governments policy to reduce class sizes to 18 - cant be done, and wont be done, another failed promise!

I was impressed at how organised the Parent Council have been, gaining local support, support of local businesses, raising eswsential funds and showing that Royston is a not only a school, but a fantastic resource in the heart of a community.

Unfortuntely our local SNP and LIbral Democrat Councillors failed to attend the meeting, and show any support what so ever to the parents,, lets see how they vote?!?!?

The Parent Council will have the opportunity to speak at the Education, Children & Families meeting on Tuesday 8th September at 9am(surprisingly at the same time they should be putting kids into school - deliberate? - never!?)

There will be another opportunity at a council organised meeting for parents, this will take place on 23 September at Royston Primary from 7-9pm and on 30 September at Telford College from 7-9pm.

Come along - say your piece!

New Licensing Laws

Om sure you'll all have read, or heard of the new legislation to kick in tomorrow (1st September 2009) Which will see the end to irresponsible drinks promotions and offers.

This has been a difficult time for the Licensing Board to implement, the SNP Governments Licensing act legislation is wide and varied, and some people would argue it is hitting the average joe public, rather than target those irresponsible sellers, or user's of alcohol!

We will be fair here in Edinburgh, while we do our best to implement the new rules, and hope businesses and local communities will bare with us.

No more wine deals for me!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Refuge Collection

...Im sure you will all have experienced the effect of the ongoing dispute.

Unfortunately, the SNP/Lib Dems lack of ability to resolve this dispute for 2 months now, is not only leaving our streets in a state, but costing thousands more to council tax payers.

Unwisely, in a recent newspaper article, it was reported that Cllr Cardownie was telling bin collection workers that this would lead to our bucket collections service being privatised!!' click here for the full comment

Further to that the Lib Dem Councillor -said we shouldnt buckle 'when binmen get uppity!! This is the wrong message to send to council employees, involved in a dispute over changes to their pay and conditions

I was further surprised to learn that the Lib Dem leader has opnly managed to make ONE meeting with the trade union to discuss this!

I urge our SNP/Lib Dems to stop dancing around the edges, meet with the Trade Unions and offer the right package to allow return to normal service

Friday, July 03, 2009



PARENTS and pupils are stepping up their campaign to save Royston Primary from closure.
So far 1,700 people living in the Royston and Wardieburn community have pledged their support to save the school.Local businesses have also donated £800 to have hundreds of Save Royston School T-shirts printed up for all children in the school, as well as their parents.Campaigners say this support highlights the importance of the school to the local community.Education chiefs are proposing to close Royston, along with Burdiehouse, Drumbrae and Fort primaries, next summer.A public consultation will get under way next month and parents from all schools are building up as much support as possible. Grant Cunningham, chair of Royston's parent council, said: "We got £800 from five businesses so that every kid in school can have a T-shirt, as well as parents. This shows how much this is a community issue and not just a school issue."Closing the school would rip the heart out of the community."Fortunately nobody has panicked and taken their children out of the school, which is always a risk when a school is under threat of closure."The council says the school roll at Royston has dropped by 32 per cent over the past five years to just over 150 pupils, meaning it has a capacity rate of just 40 per cent.But campaigners argue that the school roll has improved considerably since the appointment of headteacher Andrew Hunter. Cammy Day, the Labour councillor for the Forth ward, said: "He was tasked to increase the roll and attainment and he has done that. The guy is ticking every box and he's done that in less than a year so this is a slap in the face to him, his teachers and his parent council."Obviously no-one can give cast-iron guarantees that the school is not going to face closure at some point but he was told these were the key priorities to address and he has fully achieved this."It wasn't even on the closure list the first time round so it doesn't make sense that it is on this time, given everything he has done."Mr Cunningham added: "The headteacher was given guarantees and assurances by (city education leader] Marilyne MacLaren that he would be given time to bring the roll up from 143."He put a school improvement plan in place, got the parent council active, introduced a pupil council and brought the numbers up to 156 in just a year."

Friday, June 26, 2009


Unbelievably!! Labours Leader in Edinburgh - Cllr Andrew Burns, was evicited from the chamber, by the SNP/Lib Dem adminstration... WHY?

Well, to read the full story click on Andrews link here basically - we caught them out, not providing the true and complete facts - yet we have them already!!

Today was a shambles, I thought the Lord Provost chaired these meetings but it seems to be who ever shouts loudest!

The unknown councillor up in the back benches who proposed this - didnt even know or understand what he was asking for?!!

This whole sad saga, brings the chamber into disrepute, this could have been clarified, then moved on - not into these draconian measures, its a blatant attempt to silence the true democratic voice of councillors who represent the people of Edinburgh!!

Well done to Andrew, keep exposing them!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009


The schools closure report has just appeared on CPOL ... you can now find it here.Over a day after initial Press Coverage and the SNP/Lib-Dem Administration have finally released the report publicly.If you ask me, this all shows a complete and total lack of basic courtesy to the local communities involved in these proposed closures ... it's all about 'news management' instead of trying to involve those who matter most.Lets hope the communities affected don't forget about how they've been treated - as eventually they will be able to have their say on the current crowd running the city.

Ive yet to hear why Royston Primary School is on this new list - yet not on the provious one!?

And what will be done to support schools like Trinity Primary to cope with a huge increase in its intake??

I am keen to hear the SNP/Lib Dem councillors will be vocal in their views, on yet more cuts to Forth Ward!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Euro Elections... coming your way 4th June!

In a few weeks you will be able to vote for your MEP in the Europen Elections. To find out what the European Parliament does, click here

Labour's MEPs David Martin & Catherine Stihler have been touring scotland speaking to local people, and hearing some of the issues affecting them, and how Europe works..

Make your vote count on 4th June 2009


Well, the 'expenses' for all of Edinburgh's 58 Local Councillors - for the year ending 31st March 2009 - are published late this afternoon and you can see all the details for the 'Edinburgh Labour' Group of 15 Councillors by going .

You can see the complete list for all Parties by going here (2008-09 may not be there for an hour or two). If you're not certain which Councillor belongs to which Party , then you can find out here.

You'll see from the 'Edinburgh Labour' table, that almost all our Group of 15 are on the basic annual salary of £15,838 - the exceptions being Ewan Aitken and Andrew Burns, who have variously spent parts of 2008/09 as Group Leader which is regarded as a Senior Councillor post and for which the full annual salary is just over £24,000.

Salaries aside, the total of additional expenses claimed by our complete Group of 15 Councillors for the whole of 2008/09 is £9,797.

I'll briefly explain some of the column headings in the 'Edinburgh Labour' table for these additional expenses:

  • mileage expenses - this relates to daily travel costs: principally 'mileage allowance' for car travel.
  • taxis - for taxis fares related to Council work.
  • subsistence expenses - 'accommodation costs' at any conferences attended.
  • telephone and ICT expenses - telephone calls made for work purposes: principally 'home-telephone' costs.
  • other allowances and expenses - this relates, in the main, to the £444 for an annual bus pass. As you'll see, most 'Edinburgh Labour' Councillors use this as their primary mode of travel. This column also includes any 'conference fees' and overseas travel.
As mentioned above, this totals £9,797 for our complete Group of 15 Councillors for the whole of 2008/09

I will always be open abou any pulic expenses I incurr, and you will be able to see other councillors claims by clicking; contrast it with what the other 43 Edinburgh Councillors have claimed

Any questions or queries, please get in touch or call 0131 529 3281

No funding, No Buses, now.. no trams!!!

Im a wee bit late in updating my blog site, so heres a few wee snippets!

Im sure you will now have heard, that here in Forth Ward, not only have the SNP/Lib Dem council cut nearly £800,000 from the local budget, not only have the subsidised bus routes to this side of the city been dumped!, but last month, the SNP/Lib dem shower, voted to 'suspend' progressing line 1b - the part to the north of the city including the waterfront link!

Telford College, Scottish Gas, Housing Developments, all created along the route - to benefit from a state of the art transport system, failed, failed and failed again!

what next!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Royston Wardieburn/Stepping Stones

You may have heard the recent political decision by the Lib Dem /SNP administration to cut £1.7 million pounds from the long awaited new community centre and integrated services..

Well thats now back on hold, no one knows where it will go, what it will be.. another feasibility study to accompany the one already done?

Whispers hear that they may be no desire to build a new 'extension' at Royston School, as this Administration have not yet decided the next raft of school closures? Is this true? and what does this mean?

I have argued against this, and other cuts in full council, and neither Cllr Morris or Cllr Cardownie say anything to support resources for Forth Ward in North Edinburgh, are they happy to see more resources ripped out from under our feet,, seems like it!

Stepping Stones were told nothing of this, while Royston were told the day before the decison was made in Full Council,, disgraceful way to treat local communities who have fought for and won the right for this centre to be built!

Lets hope the rain keeps off, or we will see the kids catching the rainwater through the roof!

Them n Us!

I recently attended the Intergenerational Debate organised by the Pilton Community Mediation (intergenerational Project), which was greatly attended by over 30 young people, and 30 older people.

The event was one of many to be organised, bringing togther young and older to discuss the many perceptions and beleifs held between young and old.

Well know and respected local beat officer Ian 'Stan' Matthews, gave some background information on how the Muirhouse area has greatly changed over the years, and massive regeneration has completely revamped muirhouse from in the 1980's.

The day was kicked off with Radio Forth's Grant Stott (with a few plugs for Forth ONe 97.3 and his many Panto apearances!) who confirmed this great opportunities to get young and old together to discuss and debate, and work together for a better community.

The event kicked off with some 'speed dating' and then broke into discussion groups, after a fine lunch served by Billy and Marjory, of Muirhouse Millenium centre fame!

The event was very well organised, well done to Tracey, Project co-ordinator, and SACRO for supporting the event!.. whats next....???

Skillnet & BCDP

I was pleased to be invited to attend the recent awards ceremony with Skillnet and the Black Community Development Project, based locally in Forth Ward which was held at Royal College of Physicians.

The course learners, have made an excellent committment to the course and many of the students were presented with awards on the day.

2 of the local participants spoke of their experience during the course, and the great support dfomr tutors and from BCDP alike.

Congratulations to all those involved!

Cammy Day

Labour Councillor

Forth Ward

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Budget Update

Well, unsurprisingly the local Lib-Dem/SNP budget was voted through last Thursday in the Council Chambers.

There is a huge amount of detail in the confirmed budget - please don't hesitate to contact me directly if you'd like any specific information - but meantime here's some quick analysis of the main differences and some of the problems that will quickly become apparent with what the Lib-Dems and SNP have just passed:

- Both Labour (and Tories interestingly) put the 1.5% cut in School Budgets BACK INTO this year's figures ... some £2.7million would have been returned to schools. The Lib/Nats didn't, and instead allocated a paltry £250K to all of the city's schools - that's not very much for each school :-(

- In terms of allocation of additional funding to front line services ... here's the running order: Labour £28.1million; Tories £26.9million; Lib/Nats £25.6million. So, again, even the Tories appear to care more for front-line services than the current Administration.

- Very worrying increases in the 'school let' figures - which we rejected in our proposals - with the Lib/Nats raising charges for these rentals very, very significantly. For example, to hire a general games hall goes up from £21.25 to £27.63 - that's a shocking 30% (yes, 30%) increase. In total, this area of income is going up by some £319,000 and I confidently predict real pain for many over this, and I doubt if any of the 29 Lib/Nats even realised they approved it in their budget.

- Another £350,000 taken OUT OF Community Education - that's on top of the £850,000 last year - both cuts we rejected. Again, this will lead to serious service reductions in a whole host of areas and I doubt very much if those in charge politically, realise the full impact of what they've just agreed. I reckon the 'Scouts' and 'Lothian Association of Youth Clubs' can kiss goodbye to their seconded-posts, for example?

- No new monies for 'supported bus services' - this WILL come back to haunt them I'm sure - whilst we allocated an extra £300,000 to this area.

- No general uplift for voluntary organisations whatsoever - we did have 'inflation provision' for these organisations in our budget.

- No additional monies (once again, despite the avowed emphasis on 'doing things locally') for Neighbourhood Partnerships - we had put in an extra £600,000 for this.

- No extra monies for additional local Police Officers - the Libs had consistently failed to back this initiative when they were in Opposition and continue to show no real support - we had an extra £320,000 for this in our budget, which would have paid for 10 new Police Officers.

Overall, pretty poor emphasis on 'front-line service delivery', and it's certain that some very serious problems will arise out of what's just been approved.

In short, another weak budget for the city of Edinburgh's residents.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

January NEN update

Firstly I’d like to say well done to the North Edinburgh News, despite
a very difficult time, that they continue to struggle on to provide a
great local newspaper for North Edinburgh. I was very
disappointed to read Cllr McIvor’s column about the NEN. I’m sure
the NEN would be keen to expand, if the resources were made
available for this to happen... not really a possibility given they’ve just
had a 56% cut, in addition to the cut last year when the SNP/Lib
Dem Council cut the grant from Edinburgh Community Newspaper
Trust, in total a cut of approximately 75% to the NEN!!
There are no community project ‘Empires’ in North Edinburgh, and
if there are - I’d be keen to know where and visit them!!
Fairer Scotland Fund I am continuing to work with officers to look for alternative
funding streams, including Health, Police and Council resources to try
and save the local projects threatened by the cuts imposed on
them. These projects are essential for North Edinburgh, and I hope
the whole community will rally to support them.

17 Bus

A number of local people have been in touch about the 17 service
being cut. We have spoken with Lothian Buses, and they argue the
service is financially unviable. My Labour colleagues argued
against this cut, but it was pushed through. This loss is in addition to
the 32 being peak only - means a drastic reduction in buses serving
this side of the city!

Clean Green and Safe?

The state of the streets continues to be high on local people’s agenda.
Whether it’s dog fouling, broken glass in the parks, litter or general
neglect, as I am keen to hear more from local people if this concerns
you then please get in touch - details are as follows;

Contact details

My surgery details are: first and
third Wednesday of the month at
6pm in Muirhouse Millennium
Centre then at 7pm in Royston
Wardieburn Community Centre
Second and fourth Wednesday of
the month at 6pm in the Prentice
Centre then at 7 pm at Trinity
Primary (during term times only).
Phone; 529 3281
City Chambers High Street
Edinburgh EH1 1YJ

Not sure what to say about the latest blundering of the SNP/Lib Dem Administration.. 1.5 % savage cuts to schoosl last year, anoither 25 proposed this year - devastating most school based budgets!
But no, theres been a u turn, roundabout decision making? or something else - there now wont be cuts to school based budgets?>!
I say well done to Parents who have rallied support to fight againt these cuts. Cuts to young peoples education in this city! and excellent campaign.. worryingly we've yet to hear where the saving will be made??


Many of you may have heard of the recent cuts by the SNP and Liberal Democtras to the North Edinburgh Community.
I have been meeting with officers to look for alternative funds to support many of the local projects that have taken cuts in excess of 50-60% - shocking, i know - but true!
If you are a project user, and these cuts affect you please get in touch. I will be working along side other councillors, your local MP Mark Lazarowicz and Malcolm Chisholm your MSP to fight these unnecessary cuts!!