Our first priority in the PPP1 schools debacle is to ensure pupil and teacher safety.
Nearly 10,000 Edinburgh kids and their families will face considerable disruption in the coming days, so it's vital we ascertain the structural integrity of these Schools as soon as possible.
Coming as this does on the eve of the May exams I'm calling on the Scottish Qualification Authority to consider steps to mitigate the impact schools closures may have on the ability of pupils to prepare for exams, postponing certain papers if necessary.
"Like many local residents I was astonished to learn that plans have been submitted to Edinburgh Council for a new 'super village' of 1,200 houses next to Cramond.
"The plans would see a massive area of greenbelt land north of the River Almond opposite the Cramond Brig turned over to housing. It comes barely a year after local residents won the arguments against a major housing development at Cammo after fears over traffic gridlock, particularly at the Barnton junction.
Alex Cole-Hamilton has laid out a 5 point action plan to reduce emissions through Corstorphine and other parts of West Edinburgh after St John’s Road topped rankings as most polluted street in Scotland, with Queensferry road not far behind in a recent report.
A community campaign, led by Alex Cole-Hamilton to stop plans for a 36ft digital advertising hoarding at the Quality St junction on Queensferry Road, has paid off after the Scottish Government reporter refused a final appeal from the developers.
This decision is final and cannot be appealed again. It comes after months of activity on the part of local residents.
In order to assess the impact of continuing disruption to travel plans throughout the East Coast caused by the ongoing closure of the Forth Road Bridge, Lib Dem candidate Alex Cole-Hamilton and Scottish Lib Dem Leader Willie Rennie visited local businesses in South Queensferry this morning.
I learned this morning that on Thursday the Finance committee of the City Council will vote on proposals to remove lollipop workers from out side city schools at lunchtimes.
Residents may be aware that recent plans for a 36ft LCD advertising hoarding at the D'mains junction at Queensferry rd/Craigcrook Rd, were refused by the council following the weight of public objection locally. However the decision by the planning department to refuse this has been appealed by the applicant. This will now be referred to the Scottish Government for consideration.
Alex has led the campaign to oppose this and shares the view of those who see this as an entirely inappropriate development, given that such LCD displays are designed to attract the attention of motorists, the number of accidents that have occurred there and the fact that the crossing is in regular use by patients using the medical centre and pupils at the Royal High.
Alex Cole-Hamilton was awarded best speaker at the inaugural Charles Kennedy Memorial Debate at Glasgow University Union earlier this month.
He debated alongside former chancellor Alastair Darling and Cabinet Secretary Fiona Hyslop MSP and Conservative MEP Iain Duncan to make the case for Britains Continuing membership of the EU.
Their side overwhelmingly carried the vote of the several hundred people present. Alex was then declared the overall winner by a judging panel including Alastair Campbell (former press secretary to Tony Blair), former MP- Jo Swinson and the BBC's Brian Taylor.
You can watch his speech here:
I was at Edinburgh Sees Syria today on Saturday 12th October flying the flag for the Lib Dems and showing solidarity & compassion for refugees. See what I had to say:
I've been utterly ashamed of the UK Government's delayed and halfhearted response to the horrific scenes coming out of the refugee crisis this week. LibDems are clearly unified with those from many other political walks of life in our desire to see a radical increase in the number of refugees granted access to and asylum in the UK. Please consider joining us next Saturday at Edinburgh Sees Syria at the Scottish Parliament from 2.30 next Saturday (12th).
You can find out more about the event here.