Thursday, May 01, 2008

Full Council meeting (part 1)

Full Council meeting was, amazingly, not quite as lengthy as I'd expected ... finishing before 5pm!

Most significant debate of the day (I believe) was on the Single Outcome Agreement - it deserves a whole post of its own, especially given what was said by our Council Leader, so I'll come back to that in a minute.

Meantime, other highlights (or should it be lowlights?) of the day:
  • two items were approved, by the Nat/Lib Coalition, on the casting vote of the Lord Provost (LP) ...
  1. choosing to vote down a Motion (see item 10.5) to lobby the Scottish Government concerning the recent 10p price rise in Lothian Bus fares. Instead, not only did the LP use his casting vote, our Convener of Transport actually said "in the greater scheme of things this is not a substantial increase". 10% - not substantial??
  2. choosing to vote down another Motion (see item 10.8) asking for a report outlining how the 'outreach' work of Scottish Ballet and Opera could potentially continue. Instead the LP, who is Chair of Edinburgh International Festival, voted down this request with his casting vote. Not clever.
  • The Lord Provost (he had a busy day) ruling that during 'questions' (see item 4) the Opposition Councillors could only have 1 supplementary question, and not the usual 2 or more ... in the 9-years I've been a Councillor, I've never seen a Lord Provost resort to such tactics ... and he has the cheek to call himself a (Liberal) Democrat :-(

  • The Convener of Education telling me that she need not reflect on answers given to me about Wave 3 schools because negotiations are ongoing with the Scottish Government ... this despite me quoting a letter from the relevant Minister saying that all the capital allocations for the next 3-years are settled and there is no more money :-((

And, of course, lets not overlook that in answer to another one of my questions the 2007/08 revenue budget (Nat/Lib Coalition in charge) appears to be heading towards an overspend that may be not far removed from the 2006/07 (Labour in charge) final overspend - which was £5.53million, or 0.69% of the overall revenue budget ... see the bottom of Page 5 here.

The bright new future is here ...

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