On 12 February 2015 the City of Edinburgh Council, a Labour-SNP coalition, passed a budget with £22 million of cuts which will see a reduction of 1200 jobs from the council workforce.
Fiona Menzies from Edinburgh East Save Our Services told Solidarity: “This did not go unmarked. Community and trade union activists both lobbied outside the council and delivered inspiring deputations inside. People can get some idea of the range of groups and the arguments being made by watching the deputations on the council webcam.
“There is without doubt a crisis in local government funding; but there is no opposition from Labour or the SNP. Both choose to describe cuts as savings. They try PR-spin to present what they’re doing as positively good, using language like ‘community empowerment’.
“For example, the ‘Neighbourhood Partnerships’ have small amounts of money which they distribute to community groups. This year the council, in a clear abandonment of their own responsibility, will ask the public to vote on which groups get the money, removing any equalities framework for the allocation of this public money.
“In Edinburgh we’ve managed to maintain a good network of trade unions, the Trades Council, and community groups.
“Edinburgh East has been meeting fortnightly for almost three years since we set ourselves up to support the Unison anti-privatisation campaign, which won”.