Revealing the Conservative Group’s alternative budget proposals for 2016/17, Conservative Finance Spokesman Cllr Iain Whyte revealed the shocking levels of inefficiency and political mismanagement of the Council that show that service cuts aren’t necessary and better quality services are possible. Iain Whyte said:
“The Labour/SNP Administration has wasted four years ignoring the need to restructure the Council and make it more efficient. They have finally started to accept some of the necessary measures to manage the workforce that we Conservatives have been calling for over a number of years. While I could be flattered by this imitation it is clear they just don’t get it as they are still ignoring options to partner with the private sector that would drive out further savings and have been shown in the past to guarantee us better services.
“The Administration’s four years of inaction means four years of wasted taxpayers money and the waste goes on. And their track record of delivery of their chosen and expensive options is abysmal. We all know that their reorganisation of bin collections has been a disaster with huge numbers of complaints and ongoing missed bin collections months after implementation. Meanwhile our buildings are crumbling and we are spending £9m more a year than the Administration’s plan was supposed to on managing them while failing to slim down the Council estate to make it fit for modern services. These failures cast a huge doubt over the Administration’s latest plans because they have shown they don’t really believe in the changes they are now having to make and they don’t show real will to implement them.
“Our proposals show a balanced budget, avoid service cuts, and put additional resources into public priorities like maintaining our schools and improving our roads and pavements. We can spend more on these priorities because we are willing to challenge the inefficiency and look for the best way of delivering services based on what matters to the service user rather than sticking with the way it has always been done or the political whim of councillors in hock to the Trade Unions.
“Any calls for Council Tax increases or the re-emergence of the politics of envy with the ill-thought out suggestions of a Labour/SNP “Mansion Tax” are completely unnecessary and would be a huge blow to hard pressed Edinburgh families. It is clear from our research that the successive budgets that the Conservatives have put forward would have radically transformed the Council and, if implemented when we first suggested them, would already have made the savings to balance the budget without cuts. That early implementation would have made the change to a smaller workforce easier and cheaper with less stress for the Council’s employees. It would have also have freed up lots of resource in the meantime to invest in our crumbling buildings and improve our services.
“After four wasted years and four years of waste by Labour and the SNP it is time for a change.”