There can hardly be any surprise that there are differences in opinion between the coalition parties in Edinburgh’s City Chambers. Labour Councillors entered politics because they wanted a fairer society where everyone has a chance to reach their full potential. The SNP has no real underlying ideology and simply wants constitutional change at any cost.
This does not mean, however, that we can’t work together to run Council services in Edinburgh. Within that context, I don’t recognise the description that the administration is “dysfunctional”.
Right now we are dealing with the cuts the SNP and Greens in Holyrood inflicted on Edinburgh. These are not cuts that Labour wants or desires, but we have managed to put together a package of proposals that we think the Edinburgh public should be consulted on. Without Labour’s input, the impact may well have been worse.
Whilst individual Councillors inside and outside the coalition may choose to oppose individual cuts, the reality is that savings have to be made. Personally, I hope the music school will not close as I fear music tuition for gifted children will become the preserve of the wealthy if it does*. I expect many Councillors agree with me on this, but if it is saved an alternative cut will need to be found.
Within that context, I must suggest the public ask hard questions of any Tory, SNP or Green Councillors who oppose these cuts. The Tories in Westminster have been squeezing public spending, whilst this year the Greens and the SNP in Holyrood decided not to use Scotland’s revenue raising powers to protect services. The result of these actions are the cuts we are faced with today.
Perhaps Councillors from those parties should be lobbying their elite for better funding rather than grandstanding about the cuts on Twitter?
*With the City of Edinburgh Music School under threat of closure, this open day is a chance to show your support for the service: