Not new news as such but the BBC have just cottoned on to the several-thousand job losses due at Edimburger Council. Services are already at threadbare level with wages of other services which contract from the Council being driven down to zero-hour contracts or minimum wage. I guarantee not one penny will be lost from the tram subsidy or 1 job dropped from the shell company running it. Mark my words.
Good to see the BBC have finally cottonned on to what has been going on at Edinburgh Council for quite a while now. I'm not surprised to find that the job losses are up in the thousands, back when I was still working in housing in Edinburgh they were already scrapping for the marginal savings. (When central finance say that Council staff can no longer be allowed to provide a plate of biscuits for their colleagues from other organisations coming in for a meeting, or a flask of coffee, because it can no longer be fitted into the budget you can tell that not only are they cutting into the meat but the knife is going into the bone). Sadly, CEC is still bound to indemnify the tram company for any shortfall on their profit projections for another two years, so it will be at least that long before the tram even has to approach financial viability, and it will be a drain on the cities finances until at least that period is up.
And in the meantime Edinburgh, like the rest of Scotland is watching the slow death of services which we have taken for granted in this country, and once made us one of the more civilised nations in the world...
Somewhat predictably the latest inquiry will find out only what went 'wrong' but not why the tram project still pressed ahead despite going so wrong. And will not look into who is to blame. And lots of people and groups don't seem to be able to called or held to account because of a tangle of blurred lines of responsibility and accountability...
Could that have something to do with it all one wonders... no...
It's like they just want to piss money away over in Edinburgh. More tram planning and recommendations in the face of appalling cuts to social services and without waiting for the report into what went wrong the last time to report in.
"...a growing demand for public transport in Edinburgh."
I call shenanigans on that. The increase in Tram passengers isn't because more people are taking public transport, it is because people whose bus services have been cut have had to use the tram instead...
And I love how they say that "it won't cost anything" because it can be met from a dividend from Lothian Buses. So, does CEC have the controlling shareholding in Lothian Buses then? Also, it will be met entirely from a private company, so they will be asking for money from the Scottish Government to fund it... Ummmm.
(Also, they want my tax money so Edinburgh can have three miles of extra tram track? Eh, Naw! As they say up here.
I wonder how Nicola Sturgeon would take it if I exercised my democratic right and balloted myself on becoming Independent from Scotland?
(Star Saber has already offered to serve as my Minister of War. But so has Maximilian Jinais so I think one way or another that post and Minister for Aviation are filled...)
The thing is, the Glasgow tramline proposed goes from the airport to a train station on the outskirts of the city. It doesn't involve tearing up the city centre for years on end. It would be convenient to have a rail link to the airport, so passengers aren't reliant on taxis or the bus to the city centre that is either quick and efficient or an exercise in frustration depending on traffic. Somebody on a discussion last night pointed out that a rail link that goes past Braehead would be even better because Braehead is a gigantic shopping centre in the arse end of nowhere that's actually quite hard to get to from most of the rest of the city. It's not that far from the airport, either.
EDIT Oh wait, I was thinking of the light rail line. They want the tram to run to Glasgow Central. NEVER MIND.
"I used to think it was a terrible thing that life was so unfair. Then I thought, 'what if life were fair, and all of the terrible things that happen to us came because we really deserved them?' Now I take great comfort in the general unfairness and hostility of the universe." — Marcus Cole, Babylon 5 — A Late Delivery from Avalon