Friday, 23 December 2011

Covering the Cuts

Yesterday's Council meeting covered a fair spread of issues, from Leith Waterworld to Statutory Repair Notices to Parking in the Pentlands. Talking of which, the SNP/LibDem administration pushed through a plan to charge people for car parking on the edge of the Pentland Hills Regional Park. Okay, £2 a day doesn't seem much but its an idea that hasn't been properly thought through and is merely a substitution for budget cuts. That much is admitted within the report . But there's also numerous practical issues not properly dealt with. The income target (approx £30k) is based on 40% compliance with the new charges. Either they are not intending to enforce the regime or they just accept that most will ignore it. In addition the report recognises there will be "displacement" which will inevitably lead to problems for local working farms who sometimes have difficulty manouvering machinery due to cars parked on access roads.

Talking of budgets, the Administration, in their wisdom, decided to brief the press about a package of budget cuts before sharing that information with all elected members. Evening News  readers knew more about the detail than Finance Spokespeople (like me) who, belatedly, had an 80 page document emailed while we were sitting in full Council. Is it any wonder we sometimes find it difficult to engage in a constructive fashion ?

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