The blog of Councillor Ewan Aitken, Labour Member for ward 14, Craigentinny/Duddingston, City of Edinburgh Council
Where we are and where we will be
The idea of Edinburgh is a combination of place, soul and symbolic leadership of a nation
Monday, 5 November 2007
If Guy Fawkes could see us now
Monday 5th November
Spent the day at home looking after Hilary as she is still in great pain. The doctor doesn't think its a prolapsed disc which is good news but that doesn't stop it being very painful.
In between cups of tea and helping hands I found time to think more about the SNP proposals on Council Tax. The estimate that John Swinney is £30m short on what Councils will need is conservative in the least. But more importantly, the whole proposal to centralise decision-making about local government budgets is a scandal. It is ironic that on the night we remember Guy Fawkes, I am preparing to defend local democracy against yet another SNP attack.
At the City of Edinburgh Council's Policy and Resources committee tomorrow (6th Nov) I am going to propose a motion calling for a cross party group to meet with the finance minister to ask just how he intends to decide how much money to give Edinburgh.
In the past, the democratically elected councillors of Edinburgh, assessed the facts in detail and decided how best to budget for Edinburgh. Now John Swinney thinks he knows best and is to decide for us how much money we need. This is an affront to democracy.
We need to know what criteria he is using to decide how much money we are getting and what information he is using to make that decision. It seems that the only criteria for getting access to Johns £70m is to agree to deliver the SNP manifesto through the Local Outcome agreement. Apparently Edinburgh no longer get to decide what's best for its future, its John Swinney and I want to look us in the eye when he claims that he knows best
All 7:15pm -7:45pm and the last Sat. Lochend YWCA, 198 Restalrig Road South 12noon -1pm (no appointment needed, all during school terms)
Printed and Published by Ewan Aitken on behalf of the Edinburgh Labour Party, 78 Buccleuch Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9NH
email Ewan at email@example.com
I was elected to the City of Edinburgh Council in 1999. After 7 years of being very heavily involved in Education, I was elected Council Leader in August 2006 and from May 2007 until June 2008 was Labour Group leader when I returned to the backbenches
I am ordained in the Church of Scotland but I don't have a parish. Instead I am the Secretary of the Church of Scotland's Church and Society Council.
I am an Honorary Research Fellow of the University of Glasgow and an Honorary Fellow of Edinburgh University. I am married with two children, I am a member of the Iona Community and I enjoy sports though mostly as an armchair critic.
I welcome strong opinions strongly expressed, but please don't use this blog if you intend to be abusive or intend to use offensive language. The public conversation that I want to encourage must be based on mutual respect and common courtesy.