Trams debacle: ‘People want a council which will listen’
So now we know the cost of the farcical hokey-cokey which the council played with the trams last summer – in cold, financial terms at least.
The people of Edinburgh watched in dismay last August as the tram line was first going in to the city centre, then stopping out of it, then going in to it again.
All the while contractors were being paid to sit idle for three weeks – and we now know the whole debacle ran up a bill of £1.4 million for council tax-payers.
Many of those centrally involved are still in key positions on the city council. But before anyone starts the mud slinging, it is worth remembering that every party was culpable to some degree for that mess. One year on, we can only be grateful that the trams project appears to be running far more smoothly, despite the inevitable ongoing disruption.
But the real cost of the disgrace at the City Chambers last August – and the wider derailing of the trams project – is public trust in our local government.
That has taken a further knock in the Capital, of course, thanks to the statutory notices scandal.
The process of rebuilding that trust has begun already, with the council noticeably in “listening mode” when first the heavy-handed introduction of bus lane cameras and then city centre traffic diversions provoked a flood of complaints – but it is going to be a long, hard road.
The people of Edinburgh want a council which will listen and respond when it gets things wrong.
They also want one with a vision of the way ahead for the city in these tough economic times and the know-how to get things done with the minimum of fuss. That is the challenge.
THEY are the people who do extraordinary things everyday without a second thought. But the unsung heroes of NHS Lothian have been unsung for too long and today the Evening News launches a bid to help put that right.
We have joined with the health board to support a new category in its annual awards where the public can nominate a caring worker who has made a difference to their lives.
So don’t delay, tell us about your “Health Hero” by following the details on page 12 today and give them the recognition that they deserve.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Monday 27 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: South
Temperature: 7 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: East