Thursday, 27 June 2013

Council leader rejects Audit Commission

Cllr Cameron Rose
This morning I challenged Andrew Burns, the Labour Council leader, over the recent Best Value Audit of Edinburgh Council.

Pointing out the 'very challenging' financial position of the council, the Audit Commission made the following point:
'The position became more pressing when the Council decided not to externalise certain services'
It was referring to a programme of outsourcing which promised the taxpayer savings of £294m over a seven to 10 year period along with contractually guaranteed improvements in service.

I asked Cllr Burns if he agreed with the Audit Commission.  His reply was that he did not. 

Now I can understand if he were to have argued that the the decision to reject those savings was a legitimate political decision - even though I sharply disagree with his politics.  That, however was not his argument. 

It was that the Audit Commission was wrong and that the loss of savings through this programme did not make the financial position of the Council more pressing.

Extraordinary - because the Council's alternative savings programme is undeniably much smaller!  And an untenable position when you consider the Council is now really struggling to make those savings.  On the service front we also have the ongoing complaints over waste collection which was one of the key services where improvements were promised.

The long term outcome of Labour's political decision is fewer, poorer services for us all.

Cllr Cameron Rose,
Conservative Group leader

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