In step with Covid guidelines, Cllr Callum Laidlaw has been continuing community walkabouts in the greater Craigmillar area to help identify problems and work with partners in the council to deliver solutions.
The Niddrie House area has some properties in desperate need of refurbishment and local residents were also keen to turn a neglected area of land adjacent into a community garden. Callum worked with council officers to agree targeted work to clean up the estate, cut back trees, hedges and shrubs including the clearance of the preferred site for a Community Garden. A programme of work that identifies short to midterm repairs and improvements to the buildings and common stairs has also been agreed.
Callum has also been championing the case for investment in Magdalene, which residents feel is too often forgotten. Whilst some of the larger improvements such as upgrades to the balcony flats have been delayed due to Covid, Callum has been working with officers to help implement improvements to maintenance of common areas and will be pushing for an agreed timeline of more significant actions as the council moves into postpandemic recovery mode.
He is also taking an active interest in the concerning issue of mixed tenure repairs which could see owner occupiers liable for thousands of pounds worth of costs for upgrades and improvements to his blocks.
Working with colleagues in the Scottish Parliament he has been arguing for staggered payment schedules and interest free loans to ensure people do not face financial hardship or are forced out of their homes. Callum also joined Conservative councillor colleagues in successfully blocking proposals from the SNP/Labour council administration to raise rents for council tenants.