Euan McGrory: Edinburgh buget has moral fibre, but questions remain

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There is a strong moral thread running through the city coalition’s budget proposals for next year.

Cash for a homelessness task force, breakfast clubs to help the city’s poorest children and extra help with their school uniforms. That will strike a chord with most SNP and Labour voters. Alongside that there is important investment in the arts - including millions to help reopen Leith Theatre and secure the future of the King’s - something which a city like Edinburgh neglects at its peril.

The over-whelming sense though is more one of relief that threatened cuts won’t turn out to be as bad as feared. The last-minute grant of extra cash from the Scottish Government means that vital frontline services, such as social care, and highly valued local services, like leisure centres, will be spared the pain that appeared to be heading their way.

The issues that will continue to dog the administration are likely to centre on their ability to deliver key services like social care, road repairs and street cleaning effectively. It is worth noting how the city has again had to rely on the ‘goodwill’ of Holyrood to ‘save the day’ rather than getting the powers it needs to control its own destiny.