Edinburgh Council hires actors to play binmen

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Edinburgh Council chiefs have been branded “ridiculous” after hiring actors to impersonate binmen, road workers and care home staff.

Despite planning to axe up to 2,000 jobs to save £148 million by 2020, the cash-strapped council has forked out thousands for the role-play sessions.

According to a Sunday newspaper, the council has spent up to £22,500 for 45 two-day workshops to help managers practise ‘challenging performance improvement conversations’.

Branding the workshops “mumbo jumbo”, Scottish Conservative local council spokesman, Graham Simpson, said: “Council tax payers could barely stomach these ridiculous stunts when times were good. But now local authorities are under so much financial pressure, people will be even more angry.”

Eben Wilson, director of campaign group TaxpayerScotland added: “Taxpapayers have to ask if we can ever get value for money from these exercises.

“The scope for staff cynicism and disruption of normal working days is huge.

“Doing this at half the price might achieve similar results.”

A council spokeswoman said: “This is an established practice and organisations have been doing this for many years.”

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