Thursday, August 25, 2011

Council backs Haymarket option

Well - there will be plenty of press coverage of today's vote in the City Chambers, of that I'm sure ... BBC news already have it here, and Evening News also here.

Frankly, the SNP/Lib-Dem Council Leadership now need to deliver on the democratic will of today's vote in the City Chambers - if they can't, they should move aside.

For information, I'll simply paste our News Release below:



Plans for Edinburgh City Council to take on £231m in debt to complete the Trams Project to St Andrew Square have been blocked by Labour.

Edinburgh Labour Leader Andrew Burns has hit out at the inept handling of the city's tram project by the SNP/ Lib Dem Council Administration and berated them for their lack of leadership on the project.

As a motion today calling for the project to be completed as far as Haymarket was passed by the Council, Councillor Burns also called into question the authority of the SNP/ Lib Dem Administration to lead the city. Following the debate, Councillor Burns said:

"The SNP/Lib Dem Administration do not have what it takes to move the city forward. They are divided, bereft of leadership skills and lack a vision for Edinburgh.  Today their authority on the trams project has been completely shot.

Since 2007, when Audit Scotland gave the project a clean bill of health, this project has unravelled completely.  The division and ineptitude of the Administration has obviously taken its toll.

The decision to complete the tram project to Haymarket is clearly the option with least risk and which leaves the city with an asset.  It was the only option before Council today which provided a viable way forward, and I am glad that the Council supported that option.”



nickcgardner said...

I was sceptical about the Haymarket solution when I first read about it. But I came along to the debate in the City Chambers today, and realised just how ghastly the whole situation is - and I'm sure today's debate only scratched the surface.

None of the options was particularly attractive, but Labour made the only choice it could to protect the City and try and save something from the sad, sad wreckage. Proper grown up politics.

Shocked at the SNP's complete abnegation of responsibility. Their motion was a waste of paper and three minutes of my life :-(

nickcgardner said...
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Anonymous said...

Just a reminder Andrew that this needed 10 Conservative votes too. We have been consistent in seeking vfm from the project and action on costs and delays. All sadly lacking from Lib Dems/SNP. We had our own option but when it fell out of the vote the key thing was to avoid the huge debt burden on the city. Regards, Cllr Iain Whyte

Andrew said...


Thanks for your comment.

Iain - you're entirely corect and I'm in the middle of another post reporting fully on how the voting happened.


Edinbvrgh said...

I feel sick just thinking about this decision. Such an utter waste...

Andrew said...

Edinburgh - thanks for the comment ... not sure what you believe the sensible alternative would have been? Andrew.

Edinbvrgh said...

I'm not entirely sure either - I think good sense was left out of the equation some time ago.

However, I'm surprised that the recommendations of city staff are held in such poor regard by Lab/Con councillors, since they did recommended continuing to St A's Sq. for various reasons.

Andrew said...

Edinburgh - OK, fair enough.

I don't hold the Officers' advice in low regard; I just happen to believe (very firmly) that they got it wrong today. I respect what they were trying to do but I disagreed with them.

It certainly wasn't a black-and-white decision on our behalf.

Thanks again for checking the blog.