It’s not just the trams

Alan Cochrane (Telegraph, 16th April) calls it “the policy that dare not speak its name”, “the shambolic farce” – the trams. He asks

And so, with local elections looming who is to blame for this fiasco and who should be punished in the polling booth?

and his answer is:

If I know my local politicians they’ll all say, in relation to The Trams fiasco: “It wasnae me.” But it was them – all of them, who’ve served on that council in recent years. So let’s get rid of the lot.

Least culpable, I suppose, are the SNP representatives. That party has always been against the project and, to be fair to them, Alex Salmond and John Swinney, his finance minister, tried to axe it when they first came to power in 2007. However, in those days they were outvoted by Labour, Tories and Liberal Democrats.

Those three parties, in both Holyrood and the City Chambers, are most to blame and while they all now try to heap all the ordure on each other, the voters are entitled to apportion responsibility for the foul-up fairly evenly.

That said, 2007 also saw SNP councillors going into partnership to run Edinburgh – voluntarily, it must be said – with the Lib Dems and they must surely accept a share of the blame, therefore, for the appalling descent into even greater chaos.

Astonishingly, Labour, Tory, Lib Dem and SNP have all published Edinburgh council election “manifestoes” and none have even mentioned The Trams. Incredible. To me that is proof positive of their collective and individual guilt.

National politics played out in Edinburgh have brought national shame upon our City.  As far as the trams are concerned, a laughing stock rather than a rolling stock.  We are also lagging behind in delivery of basic, fundamental services  – take home care for the elderly as one example.  Edinburgh is in 7th place out of 10 Councils. Too much time spent by the present incumbents on vanity projects, embroidering party rosettes and climbing the greasy party political pole and not enough time representing the people of Edinburgh – time for a new broom to sweep health care for the elderly into perfect shape and sweep incompetent, scandalous waste into history.
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Delivery of Basic Services – Edinburgh compared

Forget, for a moment, about the national and local scandals which have brought shame and embarrassment upon Edinburgh. Ignore meantime the eyewatering amount of your money which is squandered. Surely this administration at least delivers basic services well?

Well no, actually. You probably won’t see this in any party political electioneering pamphlet but these are the sad facts on how we compare within 10 Scottish urban councils.

  • 6th for home care clients receiving personal care
  • 7th for home care hours for over 60s
  • 7th for cost of refuse collection
  • 7th for administration costs per benefit case
  • 8th for percentage of municipal waste recycled
  • 8th for over 65s evening/overnight home care service
  • 8th for cost of collecting council tax
  • 9th for response to domestic noise complaints
  • 9th for attendance levels at leisure facilities
  • 10th for the cleanliness of our streets

Delivery of Basic Services - Edinburgh compared to other urban councils

Are you thinking what I’m thinking — not good enough?

Vote for Gordon Murdie

Statutory Performance Indicators on Basic Services Source: Annual Performance Report 2010/11 published by City of Edinburgh Council. Graph independently prepared (10 points for 1st place reducing to 1 point for last (10th) place)