Edinburgh councillors told to prioritise poverty, sustainability and wellbeing, while saving £86.7 million

The call forms part of the Scottish capital’s four-year Change Strategy, which aims to build a more inclusive and fairer city.

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Edinburgh's Change Strategy will transform the way services are delivered in the city
Edinburgh's Change Strategy will transform the way services are delivered in the city

Edinburgh city councillors have been tasked with introducing measures to tackle poverty and boost sustainability as a means of improving residents’ wellbeing in a new report.

 

As part of the Scottish capital city’s four-year Change Strategy programme, the report is being delivered to a meeting of the finance and resources committee later this week (October 10). It sets out year two of the strategy and the first steps of the council’s annual budget-setting process.

 

Spending decisions

 

With a focus on prioritising poverty, promoting sustainability and improving residents’ wellbeing, the report unveils key themes based on public feedback. These themes are intended to guide all savings and spending decisions the city makes between now and 2023.

 

The council is working towards achieving budget cuts of £86.7 million by 2023, while also delivering major capital projects such as new schools, much-needed affordable housing and far-reaching improvements to the city’s transport network.

 

“This is our chance to push for a more progressive city, ensuring all residents have the opportunity to share in our city’s success.”

 

If the report is approved, work will also begin to identify and deliver specific savings of £36 million in the year ahead to meet the changing demands of the city and its services.

 

“Due to increasingly challenging budget settlements, this council has been forced to find around £300 million savings since 2012 and our Change Strategy is helping us to close our budget gap even further,” said Cammy Day, deputy leader of the city council.

 

“We know from our engagement work that we must prioritise frontline services while supporting the most vulnerable in our communities and addressing the impacts of growth on our city.

 

"That’s why, as we transform our services, we’ll be focusing our energy towards creating a fairer and more inclusive future for all. A way of working which minimises poverty, promotes sustainability and prioritises wellbeing.”

 

Councillor Ellie Bird added: “There’s no doubt in my mind that as we go forward, we’ll continue to face challenging decisions. It’s crucial, then, that we commit early on in this process to protecting our most vulnerable citizens.”

 

“Edinburgh is a hugely successful, growing and prosperous city but, with 80,000 people living in poverty, we must do more. This is our chance to push for a more progressive city, ensuring all residents have the opportunity to share in our city’s success," Bird said.

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