For months, officials at the council have been busily working on an “Alternative Business Models programme” that could see a large range of council services outsourced to private companies, rather than delivered directly by council employees.
Council services that seem very likely to be outsourced, judging by the tone of the briefing below, include many of the services that relate to the every day management of the urban environment and local public spaces. Amongst the first tranche of services likely to be delivered by private companies are parks maintenance, street cleansing and waste collection services.
Campaigns to oppose this process have sprung up in many parts of the city and Leith is no exception. Around 80 people attended a recent Greater Leith Against the Cuts meeting at Leith Academy. The only online report that appears to be available from that meeting seems to be in the comments to this blog post on the Edinburgh Anarchists Federation website.
However, to date, there seems to be very little detailed information from official sources on things like proposed future service standards anywhere in the public domain.
In the meantime, the briefing below has recently been circulated through the Neighbourhood Partnership. It seems to suggest that more details will be available on the 27th of October when councillors are due to consider another report on how the Alternative Business Models process will work.
It would appear from the timelines indicated in this council report that councillors will consider whether to give the final go ahead to these proposals at the October meeting.
If you have questions or concerns about this process, the briefing suggests that you contact your Partnership Information Manager.
Amusingly, the document neglects to tell you how to find out who the partnership information manager is for your area. So, should you wish to ask questions about this, the Partnership information manager for Leith is Claire Ironside.
Her email address is [email protected] and her phone number is 0131 529 7763
The Greater Leith Against the Cuts campaign recommends that you direct your questions to local councillors.
If you do send in any queries related to this, feel free to share your questions, and your thoughts on any answers you receive to Greener Leith.
Do you support council moves to outsource services to private firms, or are you opposed to the plans? Do you think there has been enough public discussion about these plans? Let us know in the comments below.