Tuesday, April 19, 2011

+£400,000 down the pan ...

This might seem like a relatively trivial matter compared to the backdrop of an imminent Holyrood election and the first UK-referendum for a generation ... but, for me, it says a lot about the current malaise of Leadership (if that's what it can be called) that Edinburgh is suffering from.

Just a few weeks ago the local Lib-Dem/SNP Administration voted through a +£400,000 reduction - yes, a 400K cut - in the budget for public conveniences in Edinburgh. The background paperwork for the budget (and questions to Officers) revealed that this equated to 15 of Edinburgh's 31 public conveniences being closed.

All of the Opposition Groups opposed this cut, and put forward an alternative, balanced budget.

Scroll forward to today and we have the relevant Convener saying publicly that they want to consider charging for people going to the toilet in the capital ... fair enough, but he states that:

"Nothing has been decided yet, but the council is keen to seek the views of local residents and businesses."

That is just so disingenuous, it's breathtaking --- I'll tell you what's been decided; the removal of over £400,000 from the budget allocation for public conveniences.

Policy being made up - literally - after the budget decision has already been taken.

It's no way to run a capital city - and just underlines for me that the current Administration just haven't got a grip of the policy-agenda for this Local Authority ... indeed, I don't believe they even have a policy-agenda: they simply follow the lead of Officers.

Down the pan, indeed :-(

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