Will Edinburgh Council management culture review be as glowing as SNP leader Adam McVey seems to think? – John McLellan

Late next week is the moment for which scores of whistle-blowers have been waiting: the publication of the review of Edinburgh Council’s management culture which is linked to the cover-up of Sean Bell’s behaviour.

Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 12:30 pm
Edinburgh Council leader Adam McVey said the treatment of whistleblowers was very different now than in the past (Picture: Ian Georgeson)

Over 100 witnesses have given evidence and the report is expected to be hefty, but speculation about what it concludes would obviously be pointless.

But whether it’s based on hope, expectation or inside information, council leader Adam McVey seems to have made up his mind, judging by an emphatic declaration at last week’s council meeting when the issue of whistle-blowing was raised.

“The organisation’s a very different place than it was 10 years ago,” he said. “These issues are now better understood, I think across the board, and I would absolutely encourage people, whether its historic or current, to use the institutions and the avenues of raising them if relevant.”

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There is no question that staff with concerns are raising them through all means possible, and a staff member who called me this week told the same story as others ─ complaints to line managers being ignored, calls to the confidential hotline, speaking to the Tanner inquiry ─ but with little confidence.

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Wrongly, according to Cllr McVey. “The police are better at dealing with these kind of historic issues now that they were 10, 20 years ago, and so is the council in terms of the organisational structures,” he said.

Maybe the Tanner report will agree, perhaps needing just a nip here and a tuck there, but if not those words will come back to haunt him.

John McLellan is a Conservative councillor for Craigentinny/Duddingston

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