Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Emergency Council Meeting

As most readers will now know, the Liberal/Nationalist Coalition abandoned the consultation process on potential school closures yesterday afternoon.

Whilst welcoming that decision, I really don't think it acceptable that this type of major policy-change should be announced at a Press Conference where Opposition members (correctly, I accept) cannot ask questions.

There still needs to be a 'formal' Council decision to put a 'formal' end to the consultation process, with a chance for the Opposition to hold the new Administration to account over the events of the last few weeks. And the next Full Council meeting isn't now until Thursday 20th September. I genuinely think a further three weeks of drift, rumour and uncertainty will not be good for the city.

So, the Council Secretary now has the required "quarter of the Councils' signatures" calling for an Emergency Council Meeting. The Council Secretary has up to 14 days to organise it - I seriously hope it's arranged as quickly as possible; as far as I can see, there's no good reason why the notice calling the meeting couldn't go out today.

Never mind 'formally' ending the consultation process (which is crucial but hasn't happened yet), there are very serious questions to be asked about the last few weeks and these need to be resolved as quickly as possible, so that the public know just where this new Administration is going.

I am increasingly worried about the potential damage all of this is doing to Edinburgh. We already knew that there was a complete inability of the Liberals and Nationalists to agree on the main tenets of transport policy, but now that inability to agree has stretched to Education policy. What will crumble next?

And more importantly, just what ARE they going to agree on over the next four years? - actually, it might now be five years!

Edinburgh does deserve some answers and some degree of clarity; and an Emergency Meeting should allow us to extract just that - I certainly hope so.

Maybe, just maybe, the Liberals would actually be better off going it alone in a minority Administration? ... their erstwhile Nationalist colleagues at Holyrood clearly decided that to be the best option.

2 comments:

Bob Cairns said...

Andrew

As such a fervent supporter of PR in local government you must be quite pleased with how it has worked out in Edinburgh?

Regards (and your blog is excellent btw)

Andrew said...

Bob

Good to hear from you!

Of course, it's the "quality" of politicians in the coalition (and not the notion of coalition itself) that is causing all the instability :-)

... now, if we'd been in there everything would be sweetness and light :-))

Andrew