Councillor Robert Aldridge looked back on his first year in office having been appointed as the new Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh in May 2022.
The Office of Lord Provost: Year 1 Annual Report 2022/23, which highlighted the work and commitments of the Civic Leadership over the past year was considered by Councillors.
During this period, Lord Provost Aldridge carried out over 630 engagements including over 330 civic events on behalf of the city.
Some of the highlights include:
- Support for Ukraine – The Lord Provost has promoted the Ukrainian cause and championed the city’s actions in providing support for refugees. A ‘Scotland for Ukraine’ charity evening in June last year, hosted by the Lord Provost, was the first of several special fundraising events to take place.
- Royal milestones – celebrations for the Platinum Jubilee took place in the same month followed by the Queen’s visit for Royal Week in July. Then in September following Her Majesty’s sad passing, Operation Unicorn was enacted. The culmination of the following unique and historic events meant the Lord Lieutenant represented the city on a global stage and was invited to attend the Coronation at Westminster Abbey in May this year.
- Tackling Poverty and Inequality: The OneCity Trust – as the Trust marks it’s 20th anniversary the Lord Provost’s stewardship has been instrumental in achieving its aims to generate funds to tackle poverty and inequality across the city. In 2022/23 the Trust has awarded grants totalling £101,413 to 24 organisations.
- Edinburgh Slavery and Colonialism Legacy Review – following the recommendations of the independent review, in October 2022 the Lord Provost made a public apology for the city’s past role in sustaining slavery and colonialism.
Lord Provost Robert Aldridge
Through this report, I have reflected on what a remarkable year it has been both for me in my role as Lord Provost but also for the Capital. I’m extremely proud as I look back on what has been achieved by the office of the Lord Provost as we continue to deliver on the work and commitments of the Civic Leadership of the city and making sure Edinburgh remains a leading light on the world’s stage.
It’s been my pleasure to meet and visit many fantastic people and organisations who go above and beyond to support their fellow citizens. This year saw an enormous response to help people fleeing the war in Ukraine. As they begin to settle into their new lives there continues to be a characteristically caring and generous response from the people of Edinburgh.
It was my privilege to represent the city and pay respects at the funerals of past recipients of the Edinburgh Award, Doddie Weir and Ken Buchanan OBE, and also firefighter Barry Martin who died whilst on duty in the Capital.
One of my first duties as Lord Provost and Lord Lieutenant was to lead Jubilee celebrations for HM The Queen and welcome her for Royal Week in July. Sadly, just a few months later, Edinburgh was the focus of the world in the days following her death. This report gives the opportunity to reflect with immense pride on our city’s contribution during this significant and historic time as we prepare for King Charles first Royal Week in the capital where he will be presented with the Honours of Scotland.
I would like to thank the Depute Lord Provost, Bailies and Lord Provost Consort for their continued support and assistance to the office and the many duties we cover between us. As Lord Provost, I’m incredibly proud to represent our diverse and vibrant city and look ahead to the next year in office.