Proportional Representation has wielded its axe in Scotland, with the inevitable and intended result that most councils have no overall control. Here in Edinburgh South I voted Green for both the council and the parliament and was fortunate enought to get a Green member in both cases. (Not that I agree with everything they say but at least they take global warming seriously).
The elected councillors now have to negotiate a coalition. This will prove interesting for several major projects that the outgoing Labour administration were planning, including:
- On-road trams, linking Leith and Princes St. to the airport
- A rail station at the airport, linking to Fife and Stirling as well as Edinburgh
- Replacing Meadowbank Stadium with a new stadium in Sighthill
- A major redevelopment in the Old Town
Like many British cities, Edinburgh has seen a lot of redevelopment over the last 10 years or so. Most of this has been pretty good for the city, although the developments have varied in how well they have fitted into the surrounding architecture - some have done this well, others less so. It will be interesting to see whether the new council does better or worse. The SNP are opposed to trams and the railair link (which will require funding from the Holyrood budget, so the likely SNP-led parliament will affect this too). The liberal democrats and others are critical of the other two schemes and these may well be scaled back.
We'll be particularly interested in how they handle the space crisis at our local primary school. The council have rebuilt or refurbished many schools over the last ten years but our school was not included becuase no suitable land could be found. Now the space problems have grown and the council will have to deal with it somehow.