Thursday, 21 February 2008

When will Labour get something right? Anything will do!

When I was a young lad there was a very cruel chant that was sometimes used to mock those who were less than excellent at any given activity. It went like this:

You're no very good,
you're no very good,
you're no very, you're no very,
you're no very good

It was terribly cruel and I, of course, never took part in it (from either direction), but it was brought to mind today when I watched another Labour farce in Parliament.

The Sage of the Age rose imperiously to her feet (oh, it doesn't take that long - behave yourself. It's not that far to travel) and gave vent to her wrath. As an aside, and before I go any further, can some Labour personage please tell her to stop going so high-pitched please - it hurts my delicate lugs.

Anyway, Wendibles brought out her shroud and waved it about again, accusing Edinburgh Council of cuts left, cuts right and cuts centre. The poor would suffer, the young would suffer, the weak and the vulnerable, she claimed. If Wendy got her way the services would be cut, the police would be missing, the swimming pools would go short of water and houses would vanish. Chicken-licken walked past claiming the sky was falling and George Robertson felt vindicated - his cunning devolution plan had obviously worked - nationalism had been deaded.

Ah well, if only Wendy had picked up a copy of the Edinburgh Evening News on her way to her ritual condemnation of all things Scottish she might not have looked such a fool.

The Edinburgh Evening News - not a journal known to forgive SNP councillors for much - was carrying the tale of what was actually being delivered in Edinburgh's budget. For your delight and delectation, here is a small sample from the article headed "Council splashes out on new beginning" -

  • Increased investment in crumbling schools, sports facilities and roads

  • Services for pensioners and vulnerable children boosted

  • Dozens of extra police officers are set to be recruited

  • £21 million to meet the funding shortfall for a revamp of the Royal Commonwealth Pool.

  • A record £60m over three years for roads, pavements and streetlights – a rise of £4m a year.

  • £6m to help get a refurbishment of the King's Theatre off the ground.

  • £3m for between 80 and 90 new Edinburgh police officers.

  • £19m over three years to repair broken school windows, roofs and other facilities.

  • £13m extra funding for vulnerable members of society, including children in foster care, adults with learning disabilities and pensioners.

  • A promise of £33m over six years towards the refurbishment and rebuilding of five new schools.
Edinburgh's roads will be getting repaired again - celebrate! Money invested in streetlighting - safer streets! More police - safer communities! I'm delighted Labour is no longer in power in this city.

I just know that George Foulkes will be desperate to welcome this excellent budget. Come along, wee Geordie, get it out there laddie, you'll want to welcome these improvements:

  • £5.8million a year for vulnerable children

  • £6.2million a year for care of older people

  • An extra £1.3million a year to support adults with learning disability

  • Investing £19m over 3 years in our school buildings

  • Re-build or refurbish all 5 schools in the Wave 3 scheme, allocating £33million for this

  • Greater transparency in the budget allocation to schools, no indirect cuts, and additional resources of £0.8million to coverenergy costs.
  • £2million reduction in costs for senior education management posts

  • Reducing bureaucracy and maximising delivery of front-line services to local communities

  • No Community Education Centres to close as a result of this Budget
  • £100,000 for activities for children during school holidays to be determined and delivered locally

Just as John Swinney made sure that the SNP's national budget delivered for Scotland, our councillors in Edinburgh have been part of delivering this excellent budget.

No more scaremongering, thank you!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You're beginning to believe your own propaganda.

I hope you'll keep reprinting the Evening News over the coming months when it becomes apparent just how bad that Edinburgh Budget is - £10K CUT from EVERY Primary School; £50K CUT from EVERY Secondary School; £350K CUT from Youth Services; £850K CUT from Community Education; over £2million CUT from Voluntary Sector Grants.

No more propaganda, thank you!