Edinburgh's Lord Provost, Frank Ross, writes in today's Evening News (1 July).
Yesterday was the first meeting of full council as all 63 councillors were reunited in a new virtual committee as we get further used to the new way of working.
One of the reports considered was the Office of Lord Provost: Year Three Report 2019/20 which covered the range and variation of the work undertaken during the third year of my term. As I look back on this time – I continue to be incredibly proud to be Lord Provost of this great Capital city and no more so than at this moment – when we are all working together to win the battle against Coronavirus.
Usually, in addition to reviewing the key city projects I lead on as ‘First citizen of the City of Edinburgh’ and international ambassador for the Capital, Councillors are asked to agree the direction of travel for the year ahead. Not as straight forward as it used to be! However, whilst the details of events and initiatives we can progress this year are yet to be determined, what was universally agreed is that we will use the civic office to boost morale as best we can as the city recovers and to recognise the key contribution made by so many people in the community.
It is sobering to look back over the busy year and the volume of activity, civic events, receptions and speeches I was honoured to host and attend and compare it to the pace of life we now all find ourselves in.
These continue to be unusual times and whilst there remains some uncertainty for many of us, as we begin to take the first steps out of lockdown there is also an opportunity for us to consider what kind of city and society we want for the post Covid-19 Edinburgh.
I know how we value specific jobs and careers will change. Doctors, nurses and other health workers have been and should continue to be at the pinnacle for societal appreciation. On behalf of the City of Edinburgh I thank you.
I hope all shop workers and delivery drivers will be seen in a more appreciative light that they so thoroughly deserve. On behalf of the city of Edinburgh you provided for so well, I thank you.
And to my colleagues in the Council who have continued to work in these most trying of circumstances to keep the city and its vital services running for the people of Edinburgh – I thank you. Through my report to Council yesterday I committed to champion you all.
As I’ve said before, in these some of our darkest days, we’ve also been given an opportunity and we should use this time to be bold and make the changes we know will improve the quality of life for all citizens for generations to come. We shouldn’t be afraid of a blank canvas - let's make sure that the picture we paint is a forward looking one.