Outcomes, outcomes, outcomes --- the Scottish Government have spent the past two-years banging on about the importance of outcomes ...
Now, I'm no fan of SOAs, but lets stick with the claimed importance of outcomes ...
... strip away all the political hyperbole about whether the Scottish Budget is going up or down this coming 2010/11 financial year (by the way - it is going up!), and isn't it the outcomes that really matter?
And here are the likely outcomes in Edinburgh:
WHERE THE CUTS WILL COME
PEOPLE: They are responsible for more than half of the council's costs.
Cuts could include:
• Redeployment of staff into other roles
• Freeze on recruitment
• Four-days weeks for some staff
• Career breaks
• Pay freeze
SERVICES: Looking at alternative ways to deliver services, including privatisation.
Areas affected could include:
• Refuse collection
• Street sweeping
• School meals
• Museums and galleries
• Ground maintenance
PROPERTY: The council will be examining all of its property assets to identify things which can be sold off. The Chesser House office complex in Gorgie is already set to be axed.
All the shouting in the world, about who is to 'blame', won't change these potential outcomes - only concerted political action will.
... and I do worry whether there's enough political maturity in Edinburgh's City Chambers to avoid what looks increasingly like a bureaucratic 'budgetary top-slicing' and widespread 'outsourcing programme' to be continuously inflicted on the capital.