February 2017

Spokes Council Hustings, 6 April

On May 4th this year, every Council in Scotland will be re-elected.  Our Spring Public Meeting on 6th April will be an election hustings for Edinburgh Council…

click to download poster pdf

We have invited all the parties currently represented on the Council to send a speaker, and they are…

  • ConCllr Nick Cook  Morningside candidate, Conservative Transport Spokesperson
  • GreenCllr Nigel Bagshaw  Inverleith candidate, Green Transport Spokesperson, Spokes member
  • LabCllr Maureen Child  Portobello/Craigmillar candidate,  Convener of Edinburgh Council’s Communities Committee, Spokes member
  • LibDemHal Osler  Inverleith candidate
  • SNPAdam McVey  Leith candidate, Vice-Convener of Edinburgh Council’s Transport Committee

Where:  Augustine United Church, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh

When:  Thursday 6 April 2017, 7.30pm – doors open 6.45 for coffee, stall and chat


  • The meeting will begin with the candidates giving short talks, from the platform, on their party’s concerns and commitments on cycling and any related transport policy issues they wish to mention.
  • We hope then to use the very successful format of our Scottish Parliament hustings in March 2016, where the audience splits into groups and the candidates spend 10 mins or so in each group.  This gives you a much greater chance to engage with the politicians, rather than the usual format of a speaker panel sitting on the platform and a limited number of questions from the floor.
  • Finally, the speakers will close with a brief summing up of what they have learned from the meeting.

Anything else:  Email spokes@spokes.org.uk

  • Spokes has written to the main parties, with ideas for their election manifestos.  A good many individual members have written too (including you we hope! – and there may still be time if you haven’t). Once manifestos are published, we will give links to them.
  • Meantime there is some advance intelligence on our top issue – whether parties will continue the Council’s existing policy of 10% of transport capital and revenue budgets being allocated to cycling…
    • We understand that the Green manifesto will include the 10% or higher
    • Labour has issued a draft manifesto for public comment (ends 28 Feb) and it includes the 10%
    • We’ve had no news yet as to the likely content of the SNP or LibDem manifestos
    • The February Transport Committee voted for the 10% for the coming financial year, 2017/18.  An unsuccessful Conservative amendment opposed the 10% policy, so we expect it not to be in their manifesto.  With the full budget now passed by Council, 10% for 17/18 is now definite unless the new Council after the election revokes it.
  • Once the election is close, and details known, we’ll do a further website article, and notify emailable Spokes members.  Meantime, there’s more about the elections in forthcoming Spokes Bulletin 127 (out Feb 25).
  • Spokes is part of the #WalkCycleVote campaign which brings together many Scottish cycling/walking groups from Sustrans to Living Streets.  Top aim is “sustained, long term investment in both cycling and walking, reaching 10% of the transport budget” [at Council and Government levels]. 
  • Please Retweet our tweet advertising the meeting.
  • If you tweet about the meeting (before, during or after!) please use the hashtag #SpokesMtg.   There will probably also be a general hashtag for the Council elections, but we don’t yet know what it will be.
  • Please download and use our Hustings Poster [click the picture above to download a pdf].   Printed copies will be available and sent to members in our Spring mailout at the end of February.
  • If you’d like to do something really ambitious (and valuable!) organise a short candidates bike ride for your ward.  Here’s how to do it.  You’ll need to start organising it well in advance, as candidate diaries tend to fill very rapidly.  Let us know in good time  so we can notify other Spokes members in your area, to join the ride.
  • WalkCycleVote will be posting information about each known candidate, and will be seeking feedback to add to the site.   There is also an open data site, Democracy Club, which aims to show all candidates (but not info on their policies) and is already in operation – you can add candidates that you know of.

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