Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Edinburgh Conservatives to call for emergency council meeting on trams

Negotiations between Edinburgh Council and Lothian Buses have failed to meet a deadline for agreement which was set for Monday this week. The negotiations are to agree strong governance, financial and shareholder controls for the operation of trams and buses in Edinburgh.

Conservative Group Leader Cameron Rose noted:
"It is essential that a satisfactory agreement is reached on governance, financial and shareholder controls for the operation of buses and trams.

Knowing the importance of the terms of such an agreement I will be calling for an early meeting of all councillors for no later than 8th August if the delayed negotiations further stall or if the agreement is not considered to be satisfactory.

If we cannot be assured there is a satisfactory agreement by Monday next week, it is essential councillors are fully updated to review and decide on the options on this important issue. Edinburgh Conservatives will push for an urgent meeting of all councillors as soon as possible.

Edinburgh Council is the senior shareholder and councillors must ensure the strategic direction and operation of trams and buses is in the best interests of the people of Edinburgh."


1.      Edinburgh Council is 91% shareholder of Lothian Buses (the remaining interest lies with the neighbouring councils).  The agreement envisages a holding company with two subsidiaries, Lothian Buses and Edinburgh Trams Ltd, the latter with Edinburgh Council as the sole shareholder.
2.      Edinburgh Council met on 27th June and noted that negotiations were expected to be completed by 22nd July.  
3.      Edinburgh Conservatives proposed (and the Council accepted) the following in relation to the negotiations:   “Edinburgh Council notes such discussions are scheduled to be completed by 22nd July and instructs that the group leaders of all parties be briefed immediately prior to their conclusion in order to assess their success.  In the absence of a satisfactory conclusion protecting the Council’s position having regard to its financial contribution and liabilities, opportunity should be afforded to the Council leader, in consultation with group leaders to institute an emergency meeting of Council within 14 days.”
4.      The minuted decision can be found here (item 10) and report in full Edinburgh Tram – Preparing for Operations can be seen here.

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