Lollipop patrols, night noise teams saved in budget u-turn

Plans to cut lollipop patrols have been axed. File picture: Greg Macvean
Plans to cut lollipop patrols have been axed. File picture: Greg Macvean
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CITY bosses have reversed a number of cost-saving proposals as they bid to cut more than £160 million from budgets over the next four years.

Plans to reduce patrols provided by lollipop men and women have been axed, while the council team that deals with gripes about noise at night has been saved.

After we told how 95 people in Edinburgh died last year while waiting for the council to provide them with a care package, council leaders have also stepped back from a series of draft cuts to departments working with some of the city’s neediest and most vulnerable residents.

A proposal to reduce the council’s in-house home care service has been scrapped, as council chiefs revealed that they would not proceed with a revamp of day care teams serving adults with learning disabilities.

The city will continue to provide music tuition in schools during the coming financial year, ahead of a decision on whether lessons should be provided through a social enterprise arrangement which could see some families paying fees.

Updated budget plans have been published following an extensive consultation exercise which attracted a record number of respondents.

Among the big gainers in the new plans are cyclists, with 9 per cent of net capital and revenue expenditure set to be spent on boosting routes, surfaces and other infrastructure for those who travel on bikes.

Additional savings will also be generated through reducing the number of vehicles operated by the city and selling buildings and other properties deemed surplus to requirements.

Councillor Alasdair Rankin, finance leader, said: “The plan will make for a very tight settlement for us as an authority in terms of balancing the budget.”

He added: “The council will have to be a leaner organisation and a more efficient organisation.

“I think that, looking at the proposals that the senior officers have put to us, there’s a very well worked through programme there.”