Thursday, August 02, 2007

Service-reductions on the horizon?

Having spent a couple of days back in the City Chambers now, with my head actually hurting from all the reading, I'm astounded to see almost zero 'public' policy progress as regards the fairly significant decisions facing the shiny new 'Liberal/Nationalist/Tory coalition' that runs the Council ...

... let's not forget that the Tories are a part of all this, in due course they'll be claiming that all the service-reductions (they ARE going to happen, of that I'm unfortunately certain) are nothing to do with them as they're not in the 'formal' coalition. Okay, strictly true, but it was only their abstention at the crucial Lord Provost vote which led to the ability of a group of 29 liberal and nationalist Councillors (out of a total of 58) to form a coalition Administration ...

- that reminder aside, there does indeed appear to have been no significant 'public' policy progress from the shiny new 'Liberal/Nationalist/Tory' coalition ... education, housing, economic development, environment - all areas with huge challenges for Edinburgh (it was ever thus) but it's surely now time for some political direction (and action) on these issues from those who have been in charge since last May?

I really do hope all these difficult decisions are not just being 'held-over' until the next Full Council meeting on Thursday 23rd August ... there needs to be political dialogue on these issues, and to date there's been zero. Full Council meetings are the ultimate decision-making body of the Local Authority and leave little or no room for political compromise - all the political Groups know that to be true.

The new Administration have only 50% (literally) of the Councillors, a lot less than 50% of the first preference votes cast ... it would not be wise to consider that an overwhelming mandate. I do speak from some experience here :-(

2 comments:

John Wallace said...

Just to help smooth the politics Councillor Burns, can you ask your colleagues on the labour group to behave like adults at future full council meetings and ensure that silly questions are left at the entrance so that the serious business of the council can go ahead.

It doesn't matter if Councillor/MSP unspellable has to get down the road to vote or sign something at the overpriced parliament - let's not put any more voters off politics by the "throwing toys out of the pram antics" we saw in the past. Remember your own MSP Foulkes is himself a double jobbing politician and it was you guys who put him so far up your Lothians list to ensure that he would have two jobs. At least Councillor/MSP unspellable was way down the SNP list at number 5.

Lets see fairness for a change.

Andrew said...

John

Here's the link to the infamous 16 questions (and answers) that were asked at the start of the last Council:

http://cpol.edinburgh.gov.uk/getdoc_ext.asp?DocId=99063

... I'm not sure any of them are "silly"? Given there's now NO scrutiny process (scrapped by you-know-who), the Full Council is going to be a bit more like this in the future I'm afraid. I'd personally rather it wasn't.

The Libs/Nats need to stop whining and are just going to have to get used to it - its called being in power.

On the dual-candiacy issue - I'm against allowing it to happen in the first place (for all levels) ... but it needs legislation to change the curent situation. Some other countries don't allow it in law.

Andrew