Public need the facts for debate, not propaganda

City Not For SaleLetter to Evening News 10 November 2011. Edinburgh City Council’s public announcement in the News (November 7) is one of the most shamelessly biased and misleading excuses for public information we have seen for many a year.

A public debate on selling off environment services is welcome, if at least 18 months overdue, but surely the public were entitled to the real facts, not an advert for the private bid. To assist the debate, here are the facts.

Firstly, the private bid will not save £72 million. The contract only promises £51 million, the rest is wishful thinking.

“Workforce reductions” is made to look like it’s the same for the in-house and private bid. It is not.

While existing workers will stay in the Lothian pension scheme, this will not apply to new starts. Over time this will affect the whole pension scheme.

And as for councillors being “democratically accountable for delivery”, please wake up. What say will councillors have over a contract handed out for seven years, no matter which party Edinburgh elects next year?

At least the notice has the decency to point out councillors could change the in-house delivery but would have to “negotiate” for any changes needed in the private contract. We know all about that with the trams, don’t we?

Bring on the debate. But let’s have the facts, not the propaganda.

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