Friday, February 10, 2012

London-bound & Council-reflections

Half-term starts today: Junior and my Better-Half now off for a week :-(

So - down to London (to the in-laws) for the weekend ... Electoral Reform Society (ERS) Meetings on the Friday and Saturday mornings ... but some family-time in-between ;-)

Back up in Edinburgh on Sunday night.

Meantime, some quick reflections on yesterday's Full Council Meeting where the City of Edinburgh Council 2012/13 Budget was finally set ...

... not as much drama as Glasgow (thankfully!) but a fair degree of farce nevertheless: actual SNP/Lib-Dem Budget Motion wasn't tabled until 10.15am --- the meeting having started at 10am! --- with a 'missed' page being later-tabled at 1pm near the end of the debate :-(

On top of that, a last-minute adjournment was called to sort out the order in which the final vote/s were to be taken --- it all had the vague feeling of a bad comedy about it ... but sadly, it was all too deadly-serious ...

... because no amount of spin can hide the deeply, depressing facts underlying the finally agreed SNP/Lib-Dem budget:
  • The City of Edinburgh Council now carries over £1.5billion of debt, an amount that has risen by a staggering 66% over the last 5-years
  • That amounts to over £3,000 of debt for every man, woman and child in the city
  • It’s costing the Edinburgh Tax-Payer some £110million every year to service that debt
  • Which equates to over 11% of the revenue budget going into debt re-payments every single year
  • Yes – more than £1 in every ten, of Edinburgh Tax-Payers money, that the Council manages goes on servicing a debt burden that’s been increased by 66% since 2007
  • And of the 32 Local Authorities in Scotland, Edinburgh now has the 4th highest debt-to-revenue ratio of any Council in the country

Glasgow may have grabbed the press attention, but here in Edinburgh there's a quieter ... but much more serious ... slow-burning, financial crisis stalking the City Chambers.


Anonymous said...

Andrew said...


Thanks for posting that link.

Just to flag up though, that only some £231million additional debt is accounted for by the tram --- the rest of the +£600million added since 2007 is accounted for by other projects.

Thanks for checking the blog.