Council leaders in emergency motion to push Scottish Government to lower Edinburgh Covid level

Edinburgh’s SNP council leader is calling on the Scottish government to follow the ‘scientific evidence and advice’ that suggested Edinburgh should be in level two of the coronavirus restrictions.

Edinburgh Council leader Adam McVey has written to TSB amid concern about the effect of the closures.
Edinburgh Council leader Adam McVey has written to TSB amid concern about the effect of the closures.

Adam McVey has tabled a motion ahead of Thursday’s full council meeting, demanding the Scottish government explains its recent decision to keep Edinburgh at level three.

The motion also insists that ‘the government follow scientific evidence and advice that indicates that Edinburgh has been consistently in tier two’.

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Earlier this week, it emerged that Public Health Scotland officials had advised that Edinburgh should be moved down to level two.

However, on Tuesday afternoon First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the capital would remain at level three due to concerns over Christmas shopping.

Capital politicians have reacted with dismay to the First Minister’s announcement, with Edinburgh Southern MSP Daniel Johnson saying “the cost of this will be counted in lost businesses, lost livelihoods and lost jobs.”

Councillor McVey, who represents Forth, has also heavily criticised the decision, saying on Tuesday: “I’m extremely disappointed. Our numbers are stable and have now been consistently within the rates of level two for some time.

“We know what a dire situation local businesses continue to face and the latest news will be yet another blow in the lead-up to the Christmas period – which should be their busiest time of the year.

“I’ve been strongly pressing for Edinburgh’s case to move to a lower level of restrictions when safe to do so. The data suggests that time should have been now.””

In a tweet on Wednesday evening, councillor McVey called for ‘all-party support to put political squabbles aside and speak with one voice as a city’.

The motion, seconded by depute leader Cammy Day, Labour, reads: “

“[The] council seriously regrets that despite robust representations from Edinburgh Council to the cabinet and public health advice supporting a case to reduce Edinburgh’s level of restrictions to level two, this has not happened.

“[The] council agrees to continue to lobby the Scottish government and at the next scheduled meeting insist the government follow scientific evidence and advice that indicates that Edinburgh has been consistently in tier two.”

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