Ken O’Neill, Lothians’ newest independent candidate, has described how he sees his election campaign. He has also set out his plans for after polling day.
I have kept to my principles and aims, as well as the Independent Network’s Bell Principles. From the start I said my campaign would stay positive and focus on what I have to say. I have not indulged in playground politics and name-calling. People have appreciated grown-up behaviour and language. Regardless of the result on Friday, I think my campaign was a success.
From Monday, I will continue to promote the same ideas and help the causes I have mentioned during the campaign. Due to rules governing civil and public servants during election campaigns, I have not been able to raise certain issues with them. However, I will write to Scottish Natural Heritage, amongst others, regarding plans for the development of Cairntows and Inverleith Park. I am surprised that having written to the PARC Craigmillar board, only one member – who is a non-voting community representative – has responded to the correspondence I sent over a week ago. I will continue to demand answers to the issues I have raised with them. Likewise, I shall seek to investigate the legality of the change to the City of Edinburgh Local Plan 2010, which removed the site from open space designation. I will also write to Forth Ports regarding the proposed Leith biomass plant and see if they will finally realise the plan’s futility.
Lastly, I will work with all interested parties and the region’s transition groups to introduce the Lothian Lolly. Beyond that, I shall go back to the voluntary work I used to do at the Forest Café. Most importantly, I am looking forward to catching up with my family and friends. They have not enjoyed my undivided attention since the campaign launched on 05 April and are probably fed up with my tangential train of thoughts by now.
I want to thank everybody who’s listened to me at public meetings, including my own one last night, talked to me while I’ve campaigned around the Lothians and contacted me. A man described my election campaign as very energetic on Monday, which was a lovely compliment. However, I am looking forward to a well deserved lie-in at the weekend!
- The Save Cairntows Park group call for the protection of the greenspace and that the area “cannot afford to lose Craigmillar’s only Park to provide additional commercial properties and flats when there is an abundance of both available in the area.”
- The Friends of Inverleith Park is a community group dedicated to conserving the park as it is a valuable recreational amenity. They are opposed to the proposal to sell off public parkland and are calling for the recent reversal of the planning designation.
- The proposed Leith biomass plant would sit 200 metres from local housing, with a 120m high chimney, emitting toxins and generating increased lorry traffic and pollution. More information is available on the No to Leith Biomass Plant website.
- The Forest is a volunteer-run, collectively-owned, free arts/events space and vegetarian café in the centre of Edinburgh.