Tag Archives: city of edinburgh council

Long-serving Lib Dem Robert Aldridge becomes Edinburgh’s new Lord Provost

Popular Lib Dem Councillor Robert Aldridge became Edinburgh’s Lord Provost on Thursday. He was the only nomination and was proposed by the leader of the SNP Group Adam McVey and seconded by his ward colleague, new Lib Dem Councillor Ed Thornley. Watch here:

Dobbie, as he is known to his friends, was first elected to the Council in 1984. I first got to know him when we first moved back to Scotland in 2000 when he was Marilyne Maclaren’s agent in Edinburgh South for two general elections. He spent most of his career working for an organisation supporting people through homelessness. He is a wonderful, compassionate Liberal Democrat. He made a superb, generous and inclusive speech on taking office which you can listen to here. It certainly had me in bits.

He will need every ounce of his patience and ability to make people work well together over the next five years.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

LibLink: Cllr Robert Aldridge: Whatever happened to joined up thinking?

This Budget has meant that local government is going to be taking even more of a hit in England. In Scotland, too, councils bear the brunt of SNP cuts.

A Lib Dem Councillor in Edinburgh, Robert Aldridge, who, for five years from 2007-12 was the city’s finance convener, has written an article for the Edinburgh Evening News about what a total mess the Labour/SNP coalition is making of running Scotland’s capital.

Their cuts have not been done in a  strategic way and, in fact, generate more costs in the future:

He set out the problems:

As the scale of council cuts grows we are seeing fewer and fewer staff struggling to try to provide the same level of service with smaller and smaller budgets. More and more we see staff having to focus on their part of a task rather than the best way of achieving the best service for the citizen.

And the impact they have on people’s lives:

For the want of a janitor in a community centre we are likely to see more people having to move to residential care, at enormous expense. We are focusing limited resources on those with highest needs, but at the expense of low-level support which prevents problems becoming acute. We are facing an obesity crisis amongst our young people. But we are increasing the costs for voluntary groups to use council facilities in the evening, making it likely that they will either have to increase charges (excluding young people from poorer families) or meet less frequently, or for a shorter period.

And what’s the solution?

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 15 Comments

Local elections in Scotland: the key battlegrounds

Every Council seat in Scotland is up for grabs tomorrow.  There are currently 152 Liberal Democrat councillors in 23 of the 32 local authorities, from the Highlands to Dumfries and Galloway. Liberal Democrats are participants in 13 coalition administrations.

Five years ago, there was some trepidation about how these coalitions would work. It was predicted that they would fall apart in months, but most have lasted the course. The naysayers were mainly from the Labour party, who had lost many of their traditional fiefdoms thanks to the introduction of STV, brought in at the insistence of the Liberal Democrats following the …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | 3 Comments
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