To live and work in a place, which you love, is a great privilege. It is also reassuring to know that the place is protected from the worst sorts of development and the degradation of its buildings whilst also having large spaces given over to parks and recreation.
The place I’m talking about is of course Edinburgh. I was born in Simpson Memorial Maternity Pavilion, that’s the original and not the fake one up in Little France. That’s as Scottish as you can get really, or at least it is to me. I’ve been lucky enough to have travelled a fair bit with work and I’ve had opportunities to work and live overseas but I never took those offers up unless they were short term. Edinburgh means that much to me.
Unfortunately Edinburgh is being deeply tarnished by a number of scandals. The scandals have been and continue to be perpetrated by Edinburgh Council. This is an organisation, which is there to make sure Edinburgh is a great place for people to live and work. They are failing to do this. Failing badly, embarrassingly and shockingly.
The trams fiasco was foisted upon the people of Edinburgh by the Labour Party who rushed it through and had it adopted just before the Council Elections took place. Of course they did this on purpose because they knew they would lose big time when the votes where in and of course they did. They got that bit right.
The shocking mismanagement, in every sense of the word, was incredible. The project has become a Billion pound embarrassment. All councillors over the years during which different coalitions have been in power have been guilty of failing to sort things out.
The councillors also voted down the outsourcing of various services, which would have saved tens of millions of pounds for the council at a time of fiscal constraint.
Then we have the enforced repairs to protected buildings. Repairs were carried our well beyond requirement and tenants faced with bills, which were far higher than estimated. Some council staff have been suspended and some have lost their jobs. I’d imagine that legal proceedings will also be taking place soon.
Now this week we have another department, who look after Council owned propetries, having staff charged with fraud etc. That’ll be more taxpayers money that the fraud will have appropriated.
Surely enough is enough? Whilst I hate suggesting that a government should do anything on this ocassion I suggest that the SNP Government gets seriously tough here. All council activities need to be examined in detail and any resulting evidence of misappropriation of funds, resources or assets immediately investigated by the Police.
The governance of Edinburgh Council should also be audited thoroughly and significantly improved controls introduced to ensure probity in operations and efficiency of delivery.
The councillors themselves? It’s for the political parties, which the councillors belong, to take a view on what can be done to ensure the councillors perform in a scrupulous manner and play their part in ensuring there are no further scandals based on poor management or corruption
Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and, should Scottish Independence happen it would become more important to the nation as a city where world leaders will visit much more often. We need Edinburgh to stay in the top three best places in the UK, if not the world, to live.
Could someone please step forward and take on the job of cleaning up the council?