Roll Your Own.

Friends and readers.

It’s almost budget time for Edinburgh City Council and we are sure that all the honourable members are doing their best not only to set a fair budget but to avoid listening to over paid fat cat officials who have an agenda of their own. As always there are many claims on the budget and as always not enough candy to go round. As with all local authorities there are pressures on the finances and difficult decisions will have to be made.

8 million quid to date spent on a tram inquiry surely puts any thoughts of an extension on the back burner for a while, if you say it quickly it doesn’t hurt as much but what the fuck has 8 million quid been spent on, lawyers fees and staff costs, it’s a fuckin small industry, where some punters are doing very nicely out of thank you very much. 8 million quid and not a guilty party in sight, told you so.

What an expensive sideshow when it’s possible that some services to the Communities might well be cut come budget day. We can all play the blame game when it comes to fingering who carry’s the can when services get cut. Motorist’s as always will get fleeced they are an easy target and present a simple way of raising revenue, maybe motorists should all go on strike and down keys and stop being used as cash cows. That fantasy aside Councils are faced with a tricky balancing act to provide services to hungry Communities who are fed up with being fucked over and taxed for the pleasure of it.

However you cut the cake it will always be the poorer areas who get humped historically it always has been so there will be no change there. No doubt some members will be worried about the effect any cuts may have on the wards they represent and we hope they use the voice they were elected to use in the defence of their wards, that’s if they know were they are or even stay in them which most of them don’t.

Budget consultations [there's that word again] have been doing the rounds, are they effective, only as effective as the amount of punters who take part, and are they listened to, who knows, in the greater scheme of things probably not, but then those that take part know that anyway but live in hope. Policing, education, health and social care all big money eaters but very important. Policing as is the case raises emotions almost to fever pitch as nobody who lives in an inner city housing estate believes that crime is on the decrease, quite the opposite particularly if you have been a victim of crime. So here’s a thought reduce the war on the motorist which wastes resources, certainly when we now have the big brother data bases to trap and catch these master criminals, and use the resource to do proper policing not use them as revenue raisers. Why is it that the police can’t chase those scumbags who steal motorbikes yet they can chase and harass car owners, stop them at will and ask for proof of ownership or tell them that their windscreen washer is out of water or charge them with having a duff brake light, simply ludicrous but a revenue raiser and a complete and utter waste of police resources, but easy work with little effort required.

Education and Health probably the two most important factors in your life for without either we are all up shit creek. Bottomless pits that constantly need filling but impossible to fill, how do Councils square that circle. Central Government talk a good game but are not delivering thereby leaving Councils to pick up the tab and take the flak. We have a large number of high earning officials within Edinburgh City Council and no doubt other Councils are plagued with them as well, they are not elected to make policy but to serve at the pleasure of the elected members, but that clearly doesn’t happen and in Edinburgh in particular we are witness to many high earning officials who do what exactly, nobody knows and we the mug punter voter certainly see no benefit for these over paid fat cat officials.

Set against the back drop of service provision being cut and more jobs threatened, but not the jobs of the fat cat over paid officials a budget has to be set and made to seem fair. The poorer areas of Edinburgh and there are a few despite a desperation to hide that fact and present Edinburgh as a City for the jet setting party lovers, will as usual come out worse in any Budget reductions, suppose this is inevitable given they receive the most funding, or do they? something to think about when you remove the waffle from the reality. Political Party’s and Labour in particular have long regarded the poorer areas as their domain using them as voting fodder and then dumping them just as quick, be careful that the new kids on the block the SNP don’t fall into the same trap allowing Labour dominated Community projects to pull the wool over their eyes and continue with a jobs for the boys policy. The politicians in the North of the City, cobber Brock, your honour McPherson, have in reality done nothing to alleviate this problem and are just relying on Labours current unpopularity to ensure their own election. The local Council elections produced two SNP councillors in flighty Bird and Knowledge Gordon, with squint tie Day elected for Labour and tweeds and plus fours Campbell for the Tories. Will they make any difference to the area they represent, who knows but with squint tie Day and Knowledge Gordon we have two experienced individuals who know the ropes and who the chancers are, don’t think plus fours Campbell cares as his support lies firmly in the leafy suburbs of Trinity and flighty Bird well providence has dealt a bad hand again to that ward and not for the first time.

This has been repeated across the City and we have stale mate or coalition as it’s politely called. So a reasonable settled budget is on the cards once the horse trading is over and both sides see sense and don’t pay heed to over paid fat cat officials. Those who live in the more deprived areas will continue to fight over a shrinking cake with those that are favoured getting a bigger slice, and the politicians who choose to head nod at these chancers are selling the Community short, we are told that Forth ward has a head nodder extraordinaire who at every meeting they attend just nod their head even when it’s clearly wrong, we will let you work out who it is for yourselves.

Edinburgh is not just a City for those who come to enjoy the City Centre party throwing and hopefully there will be a levy to ensure that the whole City benefits from festival fever not just the great and the good. Advertising on Council owned buildings is a sure fire revenue raiser, we suggest increasing the fine for fly tipping to £5000 and why not as again it’s the poorest areas that suffer this scourge the most, those that allow their dogs to shit on the pavements and not pick it up should have the same fine imposed and once again this happens the most in poorer areas. Local Community’s should be consulted[there's that fuckin word again] on what they see as prioritises, they won’t be listened to that’s a cert but still it should happen, although there within lies danger as it will be those that shout the loudest and the most that get heard, you know the punters with an opinion on everything go to almost every meeting just to hear their own voice, every Community has one[there's always one isn't there]so maybe not such a good idea best use the Community Councils as forums for that at least the punter with the opinion on everything won’t be the only voice heard.

Make a start on getting void houses back into the market, far to many Council houses lie empty for to long, when a little investment could have them back up and running and producing a rental for the City, get these lazy fuckin officials to produce a list of unoccupied Council housing, in this day and age there should be none. Section 75′s must be enforced and the money spent on local Community infrastructure and not just a donation for a fuckin park bench or shit like that. The planning process has to be simplified and made far more accountable than it is, and it appears we have the right person at the helm for that, let us hope he is not drowned by lazy inefficient corrupt officials who want the status quo.

So all in all Budget setting is a complicated process and a tricky balancing act, and it needs sure footed trapeze artists to make sure nobody falls off or there is no safety net. Won’t be long now.