No, not that 2007/08 budget - you know, the one that the current Administration simultaneously try and claim is practically leading to the end of civilisation in Edinburgh and has, at the very same time, had such a positive impact in reducing crime levels in the city centre??
... but the 2008/09 Budget!
Yes, despite it only being early October 2007, the first-round of Opposition meetings starts today - with Department Directors - to start formulating an Opposition Budget for 2008/09, which will all come before the Council in early February 2008.
Actually, never having been in this situation before (no smug comments please!) it will require a completely different approach ... we're determined to have an alternative budget that protects front-line services for children, the vulnerable and the elderly - much like was achieved over the last couple of decades actually - and to throw up a stark contrast with the 'political decisions' that have been taken since May which have led to the reduction in some of these said services.
Of course, whatever is decided at a national level on Council Tax ... will Local Authorities have the ability to raise revenue for the next couple of years or won't they?? ... could have a major impact on how much independence Councils will have in determining their own financial fate and what services they can provide. I hope that National politicians do keep that very important dynamic in mind over the coming months ...
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