Age Scotland’s Edinburgh election hustings

  1. Age Scotland held an election hustings in its head office on 28 March 2012. The election hustings was an ideal way for older people and organisations representing older people to ask the questions that matter in the local area. We’ve put together a round up of the event below, including some video links you can click on: 
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  3. In advance of the event, the Edinburgh Reporter asked the councillors for their views.
  4. First up, Councillor Paul Edie for the Liberal Democrats:
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  6. Followed by Councillor Jeremy Balfour for the Conservatives:
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  8. Callum Chomczuk, Senior Policy and Parliamentary Officer at Age Scotland, opened the hustings and then gave the floor over to the five councillors in attenance – Jeremy Balfour (Con), Steve Burgess (Green), Paul Edie (Lib Dem), Maureen Child (Lab) and Norman Work (SNP).
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  10. Each councillor gave their opening statements and local press were there to tweet and record the event: 
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    Cllrs Balfour: Says politicians have failed by putting people in categories rather than seeing people as individual #edincouncil
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    Greens want a more equal society says Councillor Burgess #edincouncil

    Age Scotland Hustings

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    Cllr Edie Lib Dem: integration of health and social care and capacity for care sector two major priorities #edincouncil
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    Cllr Eadie says: Council is facing huge demographic challenge over coming year – inc problems finding trained staff #edincouncil
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    Cllr Child Lab: care should be there for people when they need it; cooperative approach for services and older people required #edincouncil
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    Cllr Work: We’ve invested more in Telecare and we’ll continue to invest in future. Also highlights #edincouncil cash to cut fuel poverty
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  19. The first question from the audience came from a representative of VOCAL, who asked what parties will do to support carers in the future and why only 2% of Change Fund money was invested for carers instead of 20%. 
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    48000 people care for relatives in Edin – 1/2 of that for older people. Why only small % of Change Fund invested in this area? #edincouncil
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    Cllr Eadie: Says funding allocated to Edinburgh Partnership does go to supporting carers in a number of indirect ways. #edincouncil
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    Colt Burgess Greens: Carers assessments, emergency planning and time off should be looked into to support Carers #edincouncil
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    Cllr Balfour says any politican will say that supporting carers is a priority because without them #edincouncil wld hve to fund more care
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    Cllr Childs: It’s very easy to see how dirty streets are – it’s harder for people to understand how isolating caring can be.” #edincouncil
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    Cllr Work SNP: respite care has seen a lot of investment, but there is always the opportunity to invest more #edincouncil
  26. The next question came from a representative of Care and Repair, who asked how the council will invest in housing needs for older people. 
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    Cllr Work: We will continue to invest in telecare and helping ppl stay in own homes. The longer ppl can stat at home te better #edincouncil
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    Cllr Child: Professionals often seem to act as a block to modifying homes to let ppl stay in their homes. Cllr Eadie agrees #edincouncil
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    Cllr Edie Lib Dem: Housing should be adaptable where individuals’ needs are met and they do not have to move #edincouncil
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    Cllr Burgess: One of the key issues for the Greens is tackling fuel poverty. #edincouncil
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    Cllr Balfour Con: councillors have similar views on housing needs and requirements. Less red tape needed to get adaptations #edincouncil
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    Cllr Balfour: Conservatives say length of time it can take months to organise home adaptions and this is not good enough #edincouncil
  34. Joan Turner, from the Scottish Pensioners’ Association, asked what the council is planning to do in order to help alleviate social isolation. 
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    Cllr Childs agrees that there are a lot older people who are at risk of isolation. Says internet can help ppl make links #edincouncil
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    Councillor Edie mentions Drumbrae LibraryHub as a good example of somewhere to go to. #edincouncil
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    Councillor Balfour #edincouncil We need to reach the people we do not reach at the moment – those who don’t want to go to a lunch club.
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    Cllr Work SNP: Need to seek out people that want to participate in social activities but that might not know where to go #edincouncil
  39. Several more questions from the floor followed, including a question from Andrew Senew, a representative of Home Instead Edinburgh. He asked why so much resource and money was spent on tendering processes instead of going to services.
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    Cllr Edie: The current #edincouncil runs a very tight ship – claims opposition budget plans wld have led to cuts in social care budgets.
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    Cllr Edie Lib Dem: Red tape ensures your services are quality driven and financially viable and are legally required #edincouncil
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    Cllr Childs: There shd be a presumption against tendering – the last #edincouncil social care process collapsed.
  43. A question followed regarding how local organisations can find funding opportunities in Edinburgh and how the council will support third sector organisations. 
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    Cllr Child Lab: Community transport is a fundamental service and funding needs to be found #edincouncil
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    Cllr Balfour: Pledges to make it clear to the voluntary sector how much money will be available for three years in advance. #edincouncil
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    RT @agescotland: Cllr Balfour: Conservatives totally committed to 3rd sector and party manifesto shows three year funding plans #edincouncil
  47. Finally, a question was asked from the STV Edinburgh Facebook page: it’s all well and good having election hustings, but when will councillors actually get out and meet people in advance of the local elections? Poster bans mean that many people are not even aware local elections are coming up. 
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    Cllr Balfour encourages individuals and organisations to arrange regular events with politicians – they want to hear from you! #edincouncil
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    Cllr Childs: Our election manifesto is online at but I’ll be out campaigning in he ward #edincouncil
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    Cllr Burgess: It was a huge mistake by the other parties to ban election posters. Cllr Eadie disagrees. #edincouncil
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    Cllr Eadie and Cllr Burgess: Insist they are out campaigning every night. #edincouncil
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    Cllr Burgess Green: Lots of people won’t know local elections are happening because of election poster bans #edincouncil
  53. Time was up! The councillors gave their closing statements and thanked all for attending.
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  55. If you are interested in attending an Age Scotland election hustings, there are two more events scheduled in over the next few weeks – Dumfries on 16th April 2012 and Paisley on 18th April 2012. 

1 thought on “Age Scotland’s Edinburgh election hustings

  1. Pingback: Five things you need to know today : The Edinburgh Reporter

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