Socialist Worker

Edinburgh battle halts privatisation

by Duncan Smith, City of Edinburgh Unison branch chair (pc)
Issue No. 2276

The campaign to halt privatisation of council services in Edinburgh scored a major victory on Thursday of last week.

A noisy lobby outside the City Chambers was organised by Unison and supported by neighbourhood campaigns.

It let councillors know that they would be held to account in elections next year if they voted to privatise.

The SNP split from their coalition partners, the Lib Dems, by stating their preference was now to keep the services in-house.

The coalition was due to hand over control of parks, ground maintenance, street cleaning and bin collection to a private company called Enterprise.

This is the first of three major contracts that could see up to 4,000 staff transferred out of the council and possibly lead to a wave of outsourcing across Scotland.

The coalition voted to delay the decision for another month, and is now engaged in an emergency coalition discussion.

This is a real turnaround and a tribute to relentless campaigning by unions and local anti-cuts groups across the city.

However, we intend to keep up the fight until these plans are dropped for good.

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