Edinburgh audit: Green candidate says local powers vital

Responding to a report published today (25 Feb) by the Accounts Commission, which says the City of Edinburgh Council has made progress towards balancing its books after facing a £67 million gap, Andy Wightman, Communities spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP candidate for Lothian, said:

“The Accounts Commission may well be praising Edinburgh for balancing its books but that has come with real pain for staff and service users. Among the 2,000 staff who are going are experienced and talented public officials who are hard to replace.  And there is no way that cuts of £85 million this coming year alone can be made without frontline services being hit.  Already community organisations are losing grant funding, libraries, parks and street cleaning are facing cuts and school support staff are looking at an uncertain future.

“This is the result of a race to the bottom on local council funding over the last 10 years. It all the more vital that in the next Parliament we strengthen and empower local authorities to give them that same financial autonomy that is take for granted across the rest of Europe.”