Margo Macdonald is to be congratulated for using her influence in the budget vote to force a further commitment for funding for the capital City. I hear the sum being talked of is £12m and whilst there are already whispers going around that she has sold herself cheaply, there is no doubt in my mind that she has set an important precedent of getting a Capital city Budget line in the national accounts.
The trouble is, there is no plan to take that huge opportunity forward. this is not just a debate about cash for the City Council, infact that is peripheral to the whole idea of the role of the Capital City; important in practical terms., but peripheral in real terms.
All over the world cities develop as Capitals through a co-ordinated effort of all the people whose lives make their particular city the Capital City. Everybody from the government who are guests of the capital, to diplomatic services to seats of learning, to those who manage the welcome to the nation, to those who nurture the story and the creativity of the nation and much more.
If that line Margo has prised into the national accounts is to mean anything then the cheque is only the start and the Council has to facilitate something much more significant than managing that money to react to the demands the nation places on its Capital city
Keith Simpson's Christmas Reading List
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