Edinburgh public should always come first for elected members - Steve Cardownie

Adam Nols-McVeyAdam Nols-McVey
Adam Nols-McVey
The Leader of the SNP Group on The City of Edinburgh Council, Councillor Adam Nols-McVey, wrote an interesting piece for this paper on Monday. Amongst other matters Adam referred to the recent vote on his Group’s attempt to force Edinburgh Leisure to pay the real living wage to their staff.

I should state from the outset that, although I support Scottish independence, I am not a member of any party, so I have no political axe to grind here.

But once Edinburgh Leisure warned that if it was to pay the real living wage to its staff at this time, services might have to be cut to bridge the financial gap.

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This may have an impact on swimming pool opening times, there may be increases in the cost of pitch hire and this may even have required the closure of some facilities. The SNP Group should have reconsidered the matter instead of forcing a vote – for two reasons.

If the SNP had won the day, the resulting cuts to services would have been blamed on them by Edinburgh voters, which is hardly an astute political move on their part. Secondly and perhaps more importantly, a councillor’s first allegiance is to the Edinburgh public, after all they elected councillors to protect and enhance council services.

I write this as former, annually elected, full-time trade union official of more than 20 years standing. But I knew that when I was elected to the council that my main consideration had to shift in favour of the Edinburgh public rather than council employees.

If both could be catered for, all to the well and good, but if not, the public should come first.

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