28 June 2011
Edinburgh must delay privatisation decision until
public have their say
A packed public consultation organised by UNISON
last night (27 June) heard calls for Edinburgh's
Lib Dem/ SNP council to delay its £1 billion privatisation
plans until the public is properly consulted.
150 Edinburgh people, service users, community
groups and employees attended the meeting called
by UNISON's Edinburgh Branch after the council had
failed to mount any public consultation.
UNISON Branch President John Stevenson who chaired
the meeting said: "The fact that people were hungry
for information on the privatisation plans shows
just how much they have been kept in the dark about
the scale of the sell-off and the dark side of the
tendering process. The council must now delay a
decision and come clean with the people of Edinburgh
on the enormity of plans that will affect every
service across the council and every citizen.
"People were astonished at some of the details
of the bidding processes and the failure of the
council to meet some legal obligations, especially
after the trams fiasco", he added.
UNISON lead negotiator Kevin Duguid and Regional
Officer Peter Hunter answered the public's questions
for almost two hours.
They also heard directly from Labour group leader
Andrew Burns and Malcolm Chisholm MSP with messages
of support from Green group leader Steve Burgess
and Sarah Boyack MSP.
"It was disappointing that the ruling Lib Dem and
SNP councillors failed to take up our invitation
to explain why they were pushing through these plans
affecting all of our services and 4,000 jobs that
deliver them, while the public remained in the dark",
said Mr Stevenson.
The union has now pledged to hold 'meeting after
meeting' until the administration 'faces up' to
the people of Edinburgh.
Kevin Duguid, UNISON lead negotiator said, "The
Lib Dems and the SNP both opposed privatisation
when they were seeking your vote. It is astonishing
that they are now silent on breaking that pledge
and pushing through the biggest council privatisation
ever seen in Scotland".