Why does Edinburgh's SNP-led council gets £1,235 per head less than Glasgow from SNP government? – John McLellan

New analysis of council finances has exposed just what a poor deal Edinburgh people get from the Scottish government, with spending per head in the capital lower than any other Scottish authority.

Thursday, 6th May 2021, 12:30 pm
If Edinburgh council has a good relationship with ministers, what kind of funding deal would a bad relationship produce, wonders John McLellan (Picture: Lisa Ferguson)
If Edinburgh council has a good relationship with ministers, what kind of funding deal would a bad relationship produce, wonders John McLellan (Picture: Lisa Ferguson)

Using Scottish government data, my colleague and Edinburgh Central candidate Scott Douglas, has highlighted that last year £1,632 was spent on council services per person compared to a Scottish average of £2,121 and an astonishing £1,235 less than Glasgow

Clearly Glasgow has more extensive social, health and economic problems than Edinburgh, so it’s not unreasonable for it to receive a higher settlement, but Edinburgh has areas of high deprivation too and the impact of such a bad deal on services in the poorest communities cannot be minimised.

We have repeatedly been told that the SNP-led administration has a good relationship with ministers and can get its message across, but it begs the question what kind of deal would a bad relationship produce?

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It’s very hard to work out what the Scottish government wants of its capital city, and the problems with the Eye Pavilion, the Gaelic school and indeed the management and funding of the tram project suggests it doesn’t really know itself.

It doesn’t help when the council’s transport budget gets thrown millions to deal with the Covid emergency and it is used to block junctions with planters and fuel furious disputes with communities across the city in the middle of an election campaign.

Whichever way it’s analysed, the SNP isn’t working for Edinburgh, and even its own supporters say so.

John McLellan is a Conservative councillor for Craigentinny/Duddingston

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