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Item No 6-1.1 Leader s Report

Item No 6-1.1 Leader s Report

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Published by Phyllis Stephen
Council Leader Andrew Burns reports to the council August 2013
Council Leader Andrew Burns reports to the council August 2013

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Published by: Phyllis Stephen on Aug 17, 2013
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Item No 6.1
August 2013
Festivals Capital
I just looked out of my office window to witness a 38–piece New Zealand Army Bandperforming the Haka followed by ‘Gangnam Style’ outside the City Chambers (a tasteof their quite brilliant performance at theTattoo). This can mean only one thing: weare slap-bang in the middle of Festivals season. And what better time to live inEdinburgh? My Capital Coalition colleague, Councillor Steve Cardownie, recentlyreminded us of whywe love Edinburgh in August.Come the end of the month, and having indulged in everything the city has to offer,you could be forgiven for seeking out a healthy antidote to the weeks of excess.Well, look no further than the city’s fifthFestival of Sport, which kicks off in somestyle with ‘Sport with the Stars’ on 24 August. Running until 8 September, theFestival offers a bumper fortnight of sport for everyone to get involved in. It’s theperfect opportunity to try new sports, find out about the sports clubs in your areaand all of the activities are FREE.
 ______________________________________________________ Community Council elections – get involved
Do you want to get more involved in your local community and have a greater say on the issues affectingyour area? If so, now is your chance. Nominations for community council members open next month andanyone aged over 16 can apply.Being a community councillor is a valuable and rewarding experience and a great opportunity to representyour community, meet new people, learn new skills and help organise events that make a real difference towhere you live. Everyone has something to offer regardless of experience, interests and backgrounds.Community councils are also represented on their Neighbourhood Partnership and work with localcouncillors and representatives from the likes of Police Scotland and NHS Lothian to agree local prioritiesand develop and deliver local community plans.I know the hard work and dedication of community councils has had a really positive effect onneighbourhoods. Why not get involved? Nominations for election run from 2–23 September. Both individualsand groups can join. Visit thecouncil websitefor further information.
 ______________________________________________________ Wendy Henderson – a Champion for Change
I hope you will join me in congratulating one of our Communities Officers, Wendy Henderson, who hasreceived a ‘Champions for Change’ award from one of Scotland’s leading anti-sectarianism charities.The trustees of Nil By Mouthhave been hugely impressed with Wendy’s energy and enthusiasm over thelast 16 months during which time the charity has worked closely with the council to deliver their 'BeyondReligion and Belief' workplace training package to staff. This package has been developed in partnershipwith the STUC and Scottish Government and seeks to raise awareness of sectarianism in the workplace. Weare the first local authority in Scotland to commit to the programme and the feedback we have receivedfrom staff to date has been extremely positive.Wendy is the first ever recipient of the award which recognises outstanding contribution and best practice inaddressing sectarianism in Scottish society.
 ______________________________________________________ Tram project latest
The good news is that we now have a signed operating agreement between the Council and Lothian Buses,who will run the tram on behalf of the city. Naturally, I’m delighted that we’re able to benefit from their vastexpertise. You will find a report on this agreement on ourcommittee papers online systemshortly.Less good is the ongoing remedial work, particularly on and around Shandwick Place, which the contractor iscurrently carrying out on substandard sections of track. This work has taken longer that initially anticipatedbut is now nearing completion. Again, we’re sorry for the ongoing disruption. The contractor is responsiblefor the additional costs and this will not affect the completion date.We now look forward to September when we’ll be able to provide a further update on project timeframes. Inthe meantime, our focus remains on delivering a service by summer 2014. It’s important to remember thatthere is still much to be done in terms of completion of works and, following that, testing andcommissioning.See thelatest pictureshighlighting progress. You can also get regular updates by following@edinburghtrams on Twitter.

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