Tories propose ambitious programme - Phil Doggart

​Despite perennial underfunding from the SNP/Green Scottish Government the Conservative council budget has identified savings to free resource and improve services.
Phil Doggart, councillor for Colinton/FairmileheadPhil Doggart, councillor for Colinton/Fairmilehead
Phil Doggart, councillor for Colinton/Fairmilehead

We have proposed an ambitious programme of change in contrast to the recent approach of Labour and SNP administrations of costly tinkering that makes little impact.

We have set aside £3m to improve the footpaths and roads we use to get around the city. There are also significant parts of the city that still need a good tidy up,so, we are launching a “scrub our street” campaign with £2.35m to take residents’ bids for an environmental clean-up to rid their streets of litter, weeds, and graffiti.

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In our schools our teachers complain that the IT doesn’t work properly, so we would spend £1m to end those issues and free teachers to do what they do best – teach. Another £0.5m will improve attainment levels to give our young people better opportunities in life.

Health and Social Care is in crisis and desperately needs fresh thinking. We would use £1m to develop new ways of working and allow the new officer leadership to throw off the shackles. The unsung heroes in our social care sector should be allowed to develop their ideas in how to best improve services. We also want a study into establishing a dementia village for those whose suffering causes untold pain for their families.

The “no-compulsory redundancy” policy may please the unions but prevents service modernisation, quality improvement and cost savings. It must go. And the council, like every other organisation, should use everyday technology to make it easier for council taxpayers to access what they need with mobile Apps and the like. The same technology should make it easier for council staff to do their jobs, but the council often waits until IT fails before improving it.

We have also committed to reviewing all our services to make them fit users’ needs. Not least the homelessness service which spends millions on costly but unsuitable accommodation.

This Conservative budget is ambitious for the city and would make the changes that are desperately needed.

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