Councillor McVey is the SNP Group Leader in City of Edinburgh Council and aspires to lead the council. In this role he would have a duty to put Edinburgh before Nicola Sturgeon.
I’m therefore disappointed to see him buckle so readily when his party’s elite suggest they will remove funding from the City Region Deal for the £162 tram extension down Leith Walk and on to Newhaven (report, 30/05/17). Instead he argues that the project should be funded by city debt and potential fare increases. This flies in the face of the SNP manifesto commitment to ensure the extension is delivered “without placing undue pressure on the city’s finances”.
Whilst the SNP’s claim to be “Stronger for Scotland” may now be rather questionable, Mr McVey is certainly not stronger for Edinburgh.
Like many people, I had my doubts about the original tram project and want any bungling in the past exposed. However, I’m in no doubt that the tram extension will help boost some of Edinburgh’s most deprived areas and assist in the revitalisation of Leith Walk. It will also make large parts of northern Edinburgh more attractive to developers and, therefore, take some pressure off our green belt.
To make this reality, however, Councillor McVey needs to remember the commitment his party made to the City Region Deal in the past and stand up for Edinburgh!
Above all else, Edinburgh needs a leader that puts Edinburgh first. With the uncertainty that comes with Brexit and IndyRef2, the last thing our capital needs is a leader that’s in Nicola Sturgeon’s pocket.