How out of touch with the Edinburgh people are Edinburgh Council Officers and Edinburgh Councillors? VERY!
Not content with continuing to try to salvage something/anything out of the tram debacle, (I’d strongly recommend they stop now and clean the mess up) they persist in digging a bigger hole for themselves.
The latest is that they have to make a deal within the next six days with the contractor or they’ll have to pay £161M, yes million, to the contractor within a month. How are they going to finance this? WE THE COUNCIL TAX PAYERS OF EDINBURGH will be subjected to an increase of 80% in the Council Tax.
Oh really? So let’s assume there are some people deluded enough in Edinburgh to want the trams. That’s a fairly giant step to take. I haven’t spoken to a single person who wants the trams and who knows someone who does. Whilst not scientific it is a reasonable indicator of how people stand.
Extrapolate that then. The vast majority of people in Edinburgh don’t want the trams but will be paying for them whether they go ahead or not. Democracy in action? I think not.
Councillors must be aware of peoples views on this. These views must be expressed at the Councillors surgeries. These views must be expressed to Councillors as they walk about and talk to people. The Councillors must read the papers and watch the news. But still they plough on, on the basis that either their hands are tied or they know what’s best for us.
Councillors – pay attention – YOU WILL HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT THE COUNCIL OFFICERS WHO WILL BE NEGOTIATING WITH THE CONTRACTOR GET THE RIGHT DEAL and YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT IS BEST FOR US!!!!!
The trams project is dead on it’s feet. Clever and creative strategic and tactical thinking will be required to stop this shambles and pull back from doing anymore tram work . Pragmatic solutions will also be needed. Is everyone involved or at least the senior people involved up to the task? Evidence suggest that they aren’t.
Any attempt to increase costs for council tax payers will result in ballot box revenge for those who impose it. It maybe the case that Councillors push it through anyway as they have become so unpopular it will not matter to their chances of re-election anyway. Voters have long memories and Councillors may find their political parties will suffer not just in local elections but also in national and UK wide election as well.
By this time next week we will know. It may turn out to be a very interesting few days before and after. Bring it on.