‘This is not the way to make major decisions’

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Have your say

we have heard many opinions in recent weeks on the proposals to privatise the city’s bin collections and street-cleaning service – but not the clear voice of the staff who actually do the work.

Consulting with them, as the city council is now doing in conjunction with union leaders, has to be a sensible step in any decent decision-making process.

They are facing fundamental change to the way they work – regardless of whether the service is finally handed to contractors or kept in-house – and it is only fair their views are heard.

But questions have to be asked about why this consultation is taking place so late in the day – just 48 hours before councillors are due to vote on the proposals.

This is not the way the Capital should be taking major decisions that will shape our public services for years to come.

Something as basic as establishing the views of staff should have been sorted out a long time ago.

The reason it wasn’t is largely due to the SNP’s late U-turn on the issue.

Until then, the Lib Dems no doubt expected to push through the plans, confident of the support of their coalition partners.

Now things are not so clear cut and city leaders are left trying to hatch a hasty deal.

Clearly, a decision cannot be taken as planned on Thursday. The consultation will not be complete.

With the question having been asked of staff, the local authority is duty-bound to wait for the answer.

We do not want to see this crucial issue kicked into the long grass, but the mishandling of the decision-making process means the only fair move is another postponement.

Shelving Sundays

many hard-working families will be disappointed by the prospect of their local libraries shutting on Sundays and some midweek evenings – times when they can most easily use them.

Opening outside the traditional 9-5 hours has been a hugely popular move and helped introduce a new generation to the joys of reading.

But what alternative does the city council face when it has to save millions of pounds? Close some libraries altogether?

Sensible schemes such as the “library hub” in Drumbrae, where local police officers share the building, are helping to keep our city libraries open.

As long as the council continues to keep their doors open at the most popular times – such as Saturdays – then parents will understand why these cuts are being made.