Blue sky thinking? Let’s write a bold community manifesto

Chimney tops against a blue sky
Through the roof: Edinburgh house prices

Let’s invest in more affordable housing, a sustainable local economy, better care for young and old, better use of public space….these were among top issues at our Open Space event in December. Let’s turn them into a community manifesto for the Scottish Parliament elections in May.

Join us for the rescheduled Community Manifesto event in Newhaven Church Cafe on Tuesday 12 April from 6-9pm.

We want to build on the positive and inclusive discussion of the December Open Space event, co-hosted by Lesley Hinds and Leith Open Space, so that together we can create a community manifesto for the benefit of people of all ages across all communities in Edinburgh Northern and Leith.

The evening’s discussion will begin with brief feedback by Lesley Hinds presenting findings she promised to provide after the first event.  Workshop discussions will set out to identify priorities for a community manifesto based on the six key issues we voted for in December.

  1. Invest in a sustainable zero waste local economy
  2.  Devolve more power to local authority and community 
  3. Invest in affordable housing – ‘take party politics and profit out of housing’ 
  4. Secure a living wage for care workers – end to 15 minute visits 
  5. Invest in good childcare – no more cuts 
  6. Publish city wide audit of empty property/public space

There is a common theme – greater community involvement is crucial to deciding issues that affect our day to day quality of life. An environmentally sustainable local economy and affordable housing are top of the list but they can’t be separated from a more general national debate about democratic accountability in both Scottish parliament and city councils. There’s also a basic human decency in demanding better care for both elderly people and young children – and better pay and conditions for the carers.

A young woman pins votes to affordable housing action point
Setting priorities at the December Open Space meeting

Some of these issues are complex, the local consequences of national policies, and positive change will require hard work and determined campaigning.  Others should be simpler – a city wide audit of empty properties and under-used public space might open the way to pop-up enterprise. Where there’s a will, new ways can be found.

Topics for discussion, facilitated by Judith Chivers, will be decided, led and voted on by community participants.  The event is co-hosted by Lesley Hinds as Scottish Labour candidate for Edinburgh Northern and Leith. It’s a brave and perhaps risky step for a politician but as she told the Evening News after the December event, ‘the old way of doing politics is not working any longer, it’s time to do things differently’.  And, whoever is elected in May, a community manifesto can help to guide or hold our new MSP to account.

Discussion will start at 6.30 pm promptly – we will be serving food and drink from 6pm 

Looking forward to seeing you there. Don’t forget to register on Eventbrite/Towards a Community Manifesto

Community Manifesto poster

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