Well, that's the campaign started in earnest - we are into our campaign shop (294 Gorgie Road) and the manifesto was launched yesterday.
Our ten key pledges are -
- help save on everyone’s energy and household bills by offering a free “eco-check” and low-interest loan to every home
- create a new £200m “homestake” fund to help low income residents buy their first home
- keep the Council tax down to the rate of inflation for the next four years
- make sure every young person leaving school is qualified to go straight into work, or into training, or into more education. We don’t want anyone left aside
- improve the quality of the city centre through investment in and around Princes Street,
- boost the employment rate in the poorest areas of the city to within 3% of the city average.
- set up a 24-hour fast-response Community Safety Team, with police officers, in every neighbourhood
- offer affordable childcare for children between 3 and 14 to all families in the city who need it
- create green energy projects inside the city funded by donations to a new gold standard “Edinburgh Carbon Offset Trust”
- give every Edinburgh voter a “shareholder’s discount” of a free fortnight’s travel on their bus pass
Of course that doesn't mean we haven't been out pounding the pavements for weeks now. The reception has been generally good but my concern remains that if too many people vote the same way where Labour is fielding two candidates (like in my ward) in terms of first and second choice then the second choice will not get in. Interestingly I spoke to a Lib Dem on Friday who was just as concerned as me about this. The other aspect that takes a bit of getting used to is the sheer size of the ward - 12000 households taking in everything between Dalry and the Calders. It is well worth a visit to the Boundary Commission's ward maps to check what area you are now in. I have to say though - I love every minute of election campaigns.