Outlook - 'Waste of paper should've been

EVERYONE knows times are extremely tough for the public sector and its leaders are looking for innovative ways of cutting spending without damaging services.

City council leader Jenny Dawe, for example, has taken the pragmatic step of asking the public for ideas on where it should best trim its spending.

There is one glaring example we can help with straight away that will save more than 155,000 a year without anyone losing out at all.

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This is what the council spends printing its own "newspaper", Outlook - and that doesn't include the cost of staff time to put it together.

There have always been suspicions about how many people actually read the 237,000 copies a year it produces, rather than putting them straight into their recycling bin (creating yet more work for the council) or cat's litter tray.

Any last doubts about the publication's true value, though, have been stripped away by the decision to allow councillors to blatantly use its pages to promote themselves.

That has exposed the long- suspected truth, that this is nothing more than a propaganda sheet - paid for out of our pockets.

So, let's start the cash-cutting ball rolling by doing what should have been done long ago and axing this so-called service.

We know that all our public sector leaders in the Lothians are taking the need for spending cuts seriously, but there will be times, like this, when they miss the obvious targets.

That is why we are relaunching our Waste Watch campaign today, so that we can point things out when they get it wrong.

Sick Kids delay

IT is six months since this newspaper revealed deep trouble in the campaign to raise funds for the new Sick Kids hospital.

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That's six months in which efforts to add 15 million to the budget for the hospital have effectively been suspended.

Today, we reveal disquiet that it is taking so long for the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator to complete its investigation into the failure of the New Pyjamas campaign.

Of course, certain protocol has to be followed to find out what went wrong, but this must not delay or hinder the creation of a world-class facility for our kids.

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