Where we are and where we will be

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

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Surgery Times

1st Wed @ Piershill Library, 30 Piershill Terrace.
2nd Wed @ Craigentinny Community Centre, Loaning Rd.
3rd Wed @ Duddingston Primary School, Duddingston Rd.

All 7:15pm -7:45pm

and the last Sat. Lochend YWCA, 198 Restalrig Road South
12noon -1pm

(no appointment needed, all during school terms)
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