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Item no 7.

Report no CEC/41/12-13/L

Sept 2012

New initiatives picking up a pace


Summer may be coming to an end but Council staff are picking up the pace on a number of new initiatives. We are putting in place ways to widen access to Council meetings, change the way the Council does business and, this week, the Council launched a new economic strategy for the city. On Friday 7 September we took the first steps in changing the way the Council does business. At the Co-operative Edinburgh Seminar, over a hundred staff from the Council and third sector partners heard Councillor Steve Reed, Leader of Lambeth Council give real life examples of the pioneering work being done by his council. The seminar concluded with people working together to identify how we can make this work in Edinburgh. We want the Council to become more co-operative as an organisation and we want to explore the development of co-operatives as a way of delivering services. Our report on the seminar will be available from the Councils website in the next few weeks. By now, youll probably be aware of this weeks significant legal developments in relation to the plans to build a new Portobello High School. This is the Councils initial response and I will be giving an update to Full Council on 20 September with a full report coming to Full Council on 25 October.

___________________________________________ Webcasting
From 20 September youll be able to watch your councillor debate at Full Council meetings the issues that affect you and your community live online. Youll also be able to see archived Full Council meetings which will be available from two days after the end of the meeting until a month after the original live webcast. You can find out more about our webcasts on the Councils website and join in the debate on Twitter using hashtag #edinwebcast.

___________________________________________ Celebrating sporting achievements


On Sunday 16 September Sir Chris Hoy, the six-time gold medalist, will be joined by fellow Olympic and Paralympic stars on an open-top bus tour in the city centre, ending at the Assembly Rooms on George Street where Sir Chris will receive the Freedom of the City honorary award in a private ceremony. This will be immediately followed by a civic reception, hosted by the Lord Provost in honour of the athletes together with their coaches and support staff, officials, plus some of the many volunteers who gave up their time to make London 2012 such a success. If you would like to celebrate our Olympic and Paralympic stars, you can find more details of the route and timings on our website.

___________________________________________ Property Repairs


You still have six weeks left to make your views known on options for a brand new service supporting homeowners to manage private property repairs. We have already received more than 450 responses to our on-line survey. Its important that anyone with an interest in this issue takes part before the consultation closes on 31 October. To make sure the consultation is as wide-ranging as possible, the Council is also carrying out extensive meetings, focus groups and face to face briefings with a range of individuals as well as local groups such as community councils and heritage bodies. These views will help to shape the new service, which has at its heart the principle of owners taking primary responsibility for managing their property repairs. Im aware that this change in emphasis will not be universally popular but it will mean home owners will be more in control of their own home maintenance and the Council, as is the case in cities elsewhere in the country, will only be used when attempts at selfmanagement have failed. Its really important to stress that the emergency service, which responds where there is a risk to public health or safety, is likely to be retained.

___________________________________________ Revised Governance


Septembers full Council will consider a report proposing changes to the way the Council does business. These proposals would see a new Public Petitions Committee, a new Budget Sub-Committee and a greatly

strengthened Audit and Risk Committee. The way in which committees work will also change to ensure there is more time to talk about the development of policy and strategy with public input. We are making these changes because we believe that local groups and members of the public should be able to be far more involved in Council decisions.

___________________________________________ Edinburgh Economic Strategy


The Council is calling on its public sector partners and Edinburghs businesses to help support the creation of 20,000 new jobs in the city. This was the main theme at a conference which I attended earlier this week which launched an ambitious five year economic strategy for Edinburgh. The strategys three key targets for 201217 are to support the creation and safeguarding of 20,000 jobs, to support 1.3 billion of infrastructure investment in the city and to help 10,000 people into work or learning.

___________________________________________ Be in the picture


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