Friday, August 24, 2007

No, No, No

Thinking of yesterday ... nearly forgot to mention that the Lord Provost didn't just use his casting vote twice, but three times!

Yes indeed, the City Council was evenly divided 29/29 on three occasions and he cast his vote to say no to:
  1. more than a dozen deputations being heard before the Full Council meeting, including at least one MP and one MSP, who wanted to speak to their elected representatives about the biggest potential school closure programme this city has ever seen.
  2. the opposition motion asking the new Administration to abandon the programme of school closures and instigate meaningful dialogue with all interested and concerned parties before bringing any such proposals back to the Council for decision.
  3. giving a civic reception to Scotland's World Cup champions - the Scottish Homelessness World Cup Team - to honour their fantastic achievement.

Welcome to the New Edinburgh :-((


Fat Gaz said...

So how would Labour have handled the constant overspending if they had stayed in power?
How have Children and Families overspent for years under a Labour administration and had nothing done about it?
Labour have left one hell of a mess to be cleaned up and will accept none of the blame for it.

Andrew said...

Fat Gaz

Thanks for the comment.

I have actually posted fairly extensively on how we may have approached it ... probably the best entry to have a look at is here:

... and please do have a look at the various links that follow from that page.

In essence, I would have re-started the Working Group (as outlined in the link above) and taken several months, if not longer, to build a professional and cross-Party (as far as feasible!) concensus on an approach to be taken before launching any proposals.

I'm not aginst the 'principle' of rationalising the school estate, as I outlined here:

... but this current set of proposals just don't stack up and I do feel their launch into the public domain has been very badly handled.

I have also posted on the whole financial situation on several ocassions before, this entry may be of interest:

Thanks again for commenting.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reply, I must read the "back issues" of your blog.

Andrew said...


Actually, your comment - and my answer - has made me realise that my "labels (entry categories)", which are down the right-hand sidebar, are pretty out-of-date and too few ... I think I'll try and re-organise them a bit over the next week or so, so that it's easier to find older stuff on certain subjects etc.


Anonymous said...

Is the problem that there is corruption within Council Officials.
The John Travers Case appears to point at £400,000 going missing from a £900,000 budget. Mike Rosendale was quoted as saying that it was slack accounting!! Maybe it is time the Council looked at the number of levels of management. Too many chiefs I fear.

Are the administraion doing any worse than Labour? Not Really you need to have a concerted move to clean up the Council and provide descent services at the ground level... this should not be a political football. It was the same when Labour tried to close schools and community centres. Help the new administration identify where the real saving should be made and allocate resources that serve the community not management.

Andrew said...


I do agree this shouldn't be a political football, but the way the whole issue (which is one that will affect hundreds and hundreds of families across Edinburgh) has been launched into the public domain has been very badly handled.

On top of that, I genuinely think the proposals don't stack up ... and I do see it as my job to say so.

We did try to get a more concensual approach to all of this back in June, see:

... but, as you'll read, it was re-buffed.


Anonymous said...

Andrew, I do not believe that closures is the way forward. If there is overspending then that is the job of managers to ensure this doesn't happen.

You will be aware of some of the issues around the case John Travers, surely it is time to make the managers accountable. Is that not the job of the Councillors to ensure that the Edinburgh Public get value for money. It appears that the appointment of Mike Rosendale was endorsed by Councillors. As a manager he was quoted as saying that £400,000 missing was slack accounting! Surely this is unacceptable as is managers not controlling their budgets!!

Do we really need a £80 million Headquarters. Most managers communicate by e-mail so why do they need to sit on top of each other? Could the space capacity in schools not have been used by would have been cheaper.

Is it not time that a councillor stood up and said that managers should be accountable and ensure that they are. Bullying by management is rife in the Council, just ask the EIS! All councillor should be responsible for dealing with this!!!

Andrew said...


I do agree that the scale of school closures proposed is not the way forward.

I'm obviously aware of the general points you make - and I take on board the strength of feeling in your demand that Councillors get more constructively involved in these issues.

There are channels to report workplace bullying, but I can also be contacted at my home e-mail address if you want to raise something directly with me:


Chris said...

I read your comments on this post with interest Councillor Burns. Are you unaware of the bullying, smearing that senior officers in your council have been inflicting on the whistleblower? The council should hold it's head in shame.It is widely known that Mr Rosendale has organised a campaign of harassment,to ensure John Travers leaves the council.He has informed staff that this was on behalf of the labour group and Ewan Aitken who needs John Travers to be discredited. Why? I am sure you are aware of council reports that indicate malpractice by senior council officers in Ellp. Or of a court ruling finding the council guilty of breaking the Public Interest Disclosure Act and taking action against a whistleblower. Well we have secured further evidence of malpractice hence the reason Mr Rosendale is behaving the way he is. If you really would like to hear first hand about the bullying / harrasment of John Travers and are genuine in your concern over bullying contact us.

Andrew said...


Thanks for your comment.

I hope you'd agree that posting on a blog is probably not the best way to have this exchange ... I don't know who you are, so can't get in touch, but I'm not difficult to track down:

... and despite being a politician, I am trustworthy :-)


Duffer with the limp said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Andrew said...

Please - no personal abuse: I've removed the last anonymous comment.