Skip directly to content

Now we are getting somewhere

Body: 

For casual onlookers to the ongoing disaster that is the Edinburgh Tram project it can often seem impossible to work out how such a thing could ever happen.

In many ways this article on the BBC website addresses an issue in respect of the national government that lies at the heart of the multiple 'system failures' in Edinburgh.

For whatever reason, and for brevity we won't go into those here, a vacuum at the heart of decison making seemed to emerge quite early on, perhaps exacerbated by the decision to form an 'arms length' company to manage it all. This in turn led at crucial points to Council executives, employees, in effect jointly creating policy through their presentation of options and recommendations  to a council chamber almost paralysed by it's own indecision.

The aspect about which the residents group that formed this website are most concerned is the complete, and wilful absence of any coherent plan about what would happen to traffic displaced by the needs of the tram.

During the fight to have this publicised and acknowledged, as a necessary first step in doing something about it, they have seen how an almost reflexive 'tram bias' has served to prevent the Council even admitting facts that at various points have become laughably obvious.

Cllr Lesley Hinds put her finger on part of the problem when, on entering office, she said it was vital to regain control of the project from faceless officials.

As the Public Administration committee points out in their report, in respect of Parliament, trust between Civil servants and politicians is breaking down.

That is also happening in Edinburgh.

But far more significantly at both National and Local level. is the breakdown in trust between the people who vote in elections and the Civil servants and politicians, so often now seen as almost a single body, which isn't surprising when so many senior officials step outside their remit to make what are effectively political decsions , and the elected chambers become little more than a rubber stamp for the real decisons that have been settled elsewhere.