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Date: Sun 14 August 2011

Edinburgh citizens to get 'long overdue' chance to quiz politicians on privatisation

Edinburgh citizens will get a 'long overdue' chance to quiz politicians about the council's privatisation plans at a public meeting called by unions on Monday 15 August.

As part of the "Our City's Not For Sale" campaign, the joint council unions have invited all of the Edinburgh Central ward by election candidates or party representatives to a hustings to answer the public's questions on wholesale privatisation plans and cuts to services.

Labour's Karen Doran, Alasdair Rankine from the SNP, Independent John Carson, Iain McGill from the Conservatives and the Green Party's Melanie Green have all agreed to attend but so far the unions have had no response from the Liberal Democrats.

"This will be a unique and long overdue chance for voters to demand answers to the almost secretive council plans for a 1 billion privatisation of a whole swathe of Edinburgh's services. While we hear much about the trams issue, these plans will dwarf that and have the potential to be far more costly to the people of Edinburgh", said Kevin Duguid, secretary of the union's 'staff side' comprising UNISON, Unite and GMB.

"Judging by the host of meetings on the subject called by local communities and supported by UNISON in the last few weeks, we are looking forward to a lively debate. Despite no response from the Liberal Democrats so far, we hope they will attend and join the discussions."

The hustings, in the City Chambers fom 6pm to 8 pm on Monday 15 August, will be chaired by Professor Lynn Jamieson. Ms Jamieson is a professor at the School of Social and Political Studies, University of Edinburgh and a co-director of the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships. She is a member of a steering group working on establishing an international justice and peace centre in Scotland.

The evening will be introduced by John Stevenson, President of UNISON's City of Edinburgh Branch.

ENDS

For further information www.unison-edinburgh.org.uk/citynotforsale

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