Edinburgh Council: Confusion over whistleblowers' access to management culture review lawyer must be cleared up – John McLellan

The repercussions from Edinburgh Council’s review of its management culture by Susanne Tanner QC continue to be felt, and it has now been revealed that the authority has not earmarked any reserves to pay for the considerable compensation claims it expects to receive.

Wednesday, 9th March 2022, 4:45 pm
Susanne Tanner QC
Susanne Tanner QC

The £1bn it will be borrowing over the next four years is to pay for housing maintenance, schools, waste services and, of course, three miles of tram track through Leith, but given the damning contents of both the Sean Bell investigation and the wider review, it is possible compensation claims from victims could reach seven figures.

For whistle-blowers unhappy with the way their cases have been handled, the confusion and unhappiness is likely to continue.

At the February full council meeting, the chief executive Andrew Kerr, the leader Adam McVey and the Lord Provost Frank Ross, all claimed Ms Tanner was still willing to meet complainers to discuss the report.

But it has now been confirmed the review team will only address inaccuracies in the report, and there was no “open-ended” commitment from Ms Tanner for further meetings once her report was submitted.

What is confusing is the senior review team solicitor made it clear in December she was no longer available, and all matters would be dealt with by the review team.

It appears that a commitment was given by three senior figures they could not guarantee and whether inadvertently or not, both council and the whistle-blowers were misled. A clarification at the meeting next week is the least they can expect.

John McLellan is a Conservative councillor for Craigentinny/Duddingston

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