Sue Bruce has unenviable task of balancing books

SUE Bruce is celebrating a year in the city council top job – one dominated by trams and budget cuts.

Within days of taking over, the experienced official got stuck into the issue of trying to find a way forward for the beleaguered tram scheme.

She also had to oversee the council budget, which included £32 million in cuts, such as reducing wheelie bin collections across the city, closing half of the city’s public toilets, slashing school budgets and imposing the first increase in parking permit charges in a decade.

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Mrs Bruce said: “When the council set the budget at the start of [last] year we had a gap of about £26m.

“One of the things I want to focus on is the degree we are working effectively and efficiently, not just within the council but with other councils and public sector organisations.”

An additional priority was getting Edinburgh’s school leavers into “positive outcomes”, through her flagship “Edinburgh Guarantee” initiative, whereby the private sector offers apprenticeships and placement to young people who are not in education, training or employment.