Edinburgh City Council is setting the pace in its eagerness to implement cuts and attack jobs. In the space of three years this city alone is aiming to cut £90 million from its budgets. Run by Scottish National Party and Liberal Democrat councillors and using out-sourced services, its cuts will lead to an estimated 3,500 job losses.
Swimming and other sports centres are already scheduled for closure, as are all public toilets. (Restaurants and pubs are to be encouraged to take on the burden of “toilet services”.) Reductions in funding to libraries, museums and other cultural activities are being readied – so much for the city’s reputation as a leading centre for arts and festivals.
John Stevenson, the city’s Unison trade union branch president, described the cuts as “completely unnecessary” and left the way open for balloting on industrial action in the future.
Similar plans are being hatched throughout Scotland’s 32 local authorities, with Glasgow council considering 4000 job losses – and North Lanarkshire looking at 2,000 job cuts, with £70 million to be saved over the next two years.