June update from Cllr Shona McIntosh

Councillor Shona McIntosh has provided her latest update to Party members and the public.

Following her election, Shona has resigned from her previous job in order to focus on being the first Scottish Greens representative in East Lothian. A video update is also available on Shona's Twitter account.

Shona wrote:

June sped by pretty quickly, despite me having finished up at my previous job with Edinburgh Napier! Covid unfortunately passed right through my household so I didn’t gain the time I was expecting to once I was no longer juggling two jobs.

I attended the fantastic Bikefest at Bellfield, over the border in Portobello and was really inspired by the community initiatives going on there to help folk get around without cars and celebrate clean air and space for walking, wheeling, cycling and playing! I chatted to some representatives from Sustrans and Environmental Protection Scotland, and made a pledge (see above) for Clean Air Day. This month I also chaired my first meeting of the East Lothian cycle forum and it was great to meet others who are working for better conditions for cycling as a key means of transport around our beautiful county.

At the council meeting at the end of June I raised the issues of gender balanced budgeting (which there is some support to take forward in tandem with Cllr Menzies of the SNP who was also very keen on the idea); voted against taking forward proposals for a cruise ship terminal at Cockenzie site; and spoke in favour of being both bold and evidence-led in our review of traffic management – in my view this should go much further than simply identifying some sites to start charging, and should form part of a joined-up strategy to reallocate space in our town centres away from cars and towards people.

There is tons of evidence that this has economic, health and wellbeing benefits, and we should show leadership in encouraging the modal shifts that need to happen to fight climate change.

Going forward, the finance team have assured me that a meeting will be forthcoming with Lothian Pension Fund after recess to discuss their so-called ‘responsible investment strategy’ – after this I will be able to push forward with a motion calling for meaningful divestment of our public sector pensions from fossil fuel firms.

I will also be continuing to follow the progress of the Musselburgh Flood Protection Scheme and hope to take a motion to the Scottish Greens conference on how national government can better incentivise local authorities to include ambitious nature-based solutions as part of our flood protection plans.

I will unfortunately be away on holiday for most of the Musselburgh festival but will be back for the final day and have signed up to compete in the 10k race!