Edinburgh: "Our city's not for sale"

4 Aug

Edinburgh City Council is exploring what it calls an “Alternative Business Model” (pdf), which it claims will provide significant savings while still providing quality services to residents.

Unite feels that this is simply privatisation, and there is no demonstrated cost saving or benefit to city residents.

What is the alternative business model?

This is the Council’s term for privatisation of countless services within Edinburgh Council.  These include Refuse Collection, Street Cleaning, Revenues and Benefits, Pay Roll, HR , Grounds Maintenance, Security, Cleaning and Catering to name but a few.

What happens if services are privatised?

Well for a start if private companies come in to run services they will only be thinking of profit, not how well the services are run. These private companies are answerable to shareholders.  Do you think that the fat cats are interested in quality service?  The taxes you pay should be for well run services and not to pay for shareholders’ profits.

What will happen to jobs? 

If services are privatised then people will lose their jobs as no guarantees have been given about job security.  This in turn will harm the local economy and damage communities. Meanwhile the shareholders get rich.

Consultation with the public

There has not been any consultation with the public to get your view on privatisation. That’s because the Council do not care about public opinion.

Dangers of awarding contracts to private contractors

In Edinburgh we have experienced the fiasco of the proposed trams.  From the Herald:

Two of Scotland’s leading economists warned that frontline services such as education and social care will lose out to Edinburgh’s troubled trams project as they raised serious doubts over every single aspect of the funding proposals.

 They seriously think that privatising services will ensure the people of Edinburgh have access to better quality services?  What planet do they live on?  It is high time for our council leaders to start listening to those who do know what they’re talking about.

 What can I do?

Sign the online petition.

You can contact the Council Leader councillor Jenny Dawe at:

The City of Edinburgh Council
City Chambers
High Street

or phone 0131 529 4987 or email and ask why you have not been consulted on the Council’s proposals to privatise services.

You can also contact your local councillor to raise your concerns regarding privatisation.  These details can be found on the Council’s website.

You can also get involved in the “Our City’s not for Sale” campaign by contacting Stevie Macgregor on 0781 889 0555 or by email.

Download the leaflet.

For more information also see the campaign page of our sister union Unison.



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