We have to use our resources wisely

The following opinion piece by Councillor Cammy Day, Vice Convener of the Health, Social Care and Housing Committee, appeared in today's Edinburgh Evening News.

Edinburgh is a fantastic place to live and it’s our job to help make sure people in the city are able to live in quality, affordable housing in a safe environment.

We have to make sure that as a Council our budget constraints don’t stall progress in developing modern, energy efficient homes for tenants, at costs they can afford. This means that we have to use our resources wisely to upgrade our current housing stock and build new homes to the highest standard. Over the last year I am proud of our achievements in doing this and, together with our partners, we provided almost 1,300 new affordable homes, trebling the number of new affordable homes being built in the city.

New homes have been let to tenants in Craigmillar and West Pilton, while one of Scotland’s largest housing-led regeneration projects is currently underway in Pennywell, and set to deliver over 700 homes in the North of Edinburgh. This work is delivering long lasting benefits to local communities and we are looking to expand on this to regenerate and enhance other parts of city.

However, building better communities isn’t just about new housing, it is about making sure people feel safe in their homes and in their communities. That is why the work of our Community Safety teams of officers and wardens are so important in tackling issues such as anti-social behaviour, which can have a huge impact locally, on an individual, and on the environment.

We have also committed £1million to begin to upgrade our CCTV systems across Edinburgh and are working with partners to create an integrated CCTV network for the city. We are lucky that we live in a city that was voted the UK’s safest this year, and that residents tell us they mostly feel safe after dark, but we’ll keep listening together with partners so that the people who live, work and visit here are kept safe.

There is much to do to meet the needs of a growing population and the increasing demands that this places on the Council, so when it comes to allocating next year’s budget we must get it right. We have to build on successful projects and fund new ones to make sure our residents live in safe, thriving communities across the Capital. That is why we are urging people to play their part in our budget decisions, so please have a look at www.edinburgh.gov.uk/budget and let us know your priorities. Also, you can ask myself and Councillor Henderson any health, social care and housing questions during a live Q&A session on Twitter between 3 and 4pm today - #edinbudget.

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