Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Decision-free zone

Transpires that things can only get worse ...

... indeed Edinburgh is apparently a classified "decision-free zone" until August 2007.

Nothing of any strategic importance is going to happen in Edinburgh for months ... here's a brief update:

  • after the very urgent Council Executive meeting this Thursday (agenda here ... if you didn't believe the only purpose of the meeting was to fix pay-grades) there will only be two other Executive meetings before the Summer recess, at which "not much business" will be conducted.

  • the whole Scrutiny Process will, nevertheless, be dismantled forthwith on the grand assumption that the shiny-new, streamlined Committees ARE coming into existence in August.
  • there will indeed be ABSOLUTELY NO public consultation on this (Stalin would be proud) and no room for change/amendment.

  • the new Committees will ALL have coalition Conveners and Vice-Conveners, despite the fact that they are supposedly to perform some sort of Scrutiny role ... I thought that's what the Scrutiny Panels did now? - and several of them were rightly Chaired by the Opposition.

All quite breathtaking.

What happens if the 'coalition of the unwilling' fails to get this all through the Full Council meeting in June - it's their only opportunity if it's to start in August regardless? There will be no Scrutiny for months and that hapless situation will continue for longer if June goes badly ... Stefan Tymkewycz had better get permission from the SNP whip to be absent on that day for his "other job" in Parliament ;-))

Actually, it's hard to make a joke about it all ... 'cause it's not funny.

In essence, all the big decisions facing Edinburgh (capital city of Scotland, in case anyone has forgotten) are on hold until at least August. Our competitor cities probably can't believe their luck.


Anonymous said...

Come on Andrew:

You have got to at least give the impression of being fair, especially with your track record.

What about the Stalanistic enforcement of the CETM (without public consultation), the shiny new change your administration made to Executive Members for This and That (without public consultation), should I go on.....?

Then we look at wasting time. Were you not Exec. Member for Children & Families for months and you still haven't managed to get the City Connect/ELLP fiasco sorted out and Mr. R's a*se out of the door - or even get the report on the Whistleblower fiasco to full council and voted on.

Stones, glass houses, pots and kettles seem to ring a bell.

With regard to Stef Tymkewycz's feat at the ballot box, it was exactly that. Let's face it, had a Labour candidate managed the same feat, you would all be sitting on your opposition benches creaming your pants. Having said that, I am sure that a lot of my friends are going to have a problem with the Tymkewycz spelling should he screw up as much as the last administration.

Andrew said...


I'm absolutely willing to accept your criticism on ELLP.

But on CETM - please do have a quick look at:


... it was the largest Public Inquiry EVER in Scottish Local Government history. You can't really class that as being enforced "without public consultation"?

And on the Council Executive, have a look at:


... two, very significant pieces of public consutlation on this, BEFORE we brought in the new system.

And on Stefan - I do agree about his surname! - but a Labour candidate COULDN'T have done what he has just achieved as we are forbidden from standing for both Council and Holyrood.

Always willing to accept criticism where it's justified ...


Andrew said...

ooops, sorry those links should be:

Andrew said...

Grovelling apology required ... seems this entry has 'upset' some people who have been on the 'phone to my favourite local newspaper ... FYI here's the full quote I gave them in response:

"As regular readers of my blog will know, it's written in a very light-hearted, general manner and indeed I've received a lot of positive feedback because of its tone and the contrast with the endless, extremely boring, political posturing that fills the internet. I'm not aware of any recent entry that has focussed on an individual, but if anyone has taken personal offence at a general comment then I unreservedly apologise ... it's never my intention to offend anyone personally.

"As for the recent entry concerning the proposed changes to the way the Council takes decisions, my point here is simply that the last time the Council changed its decision-making structures - back in the year 2000 - there were two very substantial pieces of public consultation before any changes were made ... this is in stark contrast to the current administration's recent proposals to amend the structures, on which there will be no public consultation whatsoever."

Anonymous said...

It wisnae me....

Anonymous said...

It wisnae me either!!!

Anonymous said...

So the mystery starts. Who wis it?

Andrew said...

John/Basa/Monster Mash

I've just seen a flying pig pass outside my office window ;-))


Anonymous said...

Serious. It wasn't - and you can take that to the bank.