Burns keen to give power to the people

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CITY council leader Andrew Burns has vowed to press ahead with plans to turn the authority into a “co-operative council”, giving local people more control over services.

He announced plans for a conference in September to develop ideas and said the first priorities would be to promote co-operatives in housing, childcare and energy generation.

But he said co-operatives could also be considered in other areas, such as parks and health and social care, and he left the door open to campaigners for Leith Waterworld to pursue the idea as a way of reopening the leisure pool.

He said he would like to see the venue open again, but insisted it would have to be “financially viable”.

“We need to wait and see what the figures are. I don’t want to build up any false expectations,” he said.

Cllr Burns acknowledged there was still “a degree of uncertainty in some quarters” about what a co-operative council meant.

He said the September 7 conference, which will bring together councillors, senior officials, the voluntary sector and others, would develop ideas and bring some “clarity”.