Open Letter to COSLA and the Scottish Government

On 26th January the Herald published an article warning that Scottish councils are facing a £767 million bill to tackle the Covid-19 crisis amid a warning the Government has only covered up to two thirds of the pressure. 

This letter was sent to the Herald in reply from Another Edinburgh is Possible and Another Glasgow is Possible.

Dear Alison Evison and Nicola Sturgeon,Lett

Time to take the fight to the UK Government, the true source of the “unprecedented strain” [1] on finances.

In recent months we have seen £170m wasted with PestFix on PPE that did not work [2], a jewellery designer receiving a £250m contract to provide health equipment, and the £550,000 consulting deal with Public First, a company with close ties to Whitehall [3]

£17bn of contracts issued with a lack of transparency and riddled with potential conflict of interest [3]; this is the true cause of “increases in the inequalities” [1].

If this is not enough, consider the £205bn earmarked for the Trident missile replacement project [4], a weapons system now made illegal by UN treaty [5], the curious contribution to carbon neutrality of £61bn for a 3rdrunway at Heathrow [6], and the £138bn [7] planned for the ecological disaster called HS2 [8].

There is enough money, it is simply being spent on the wrong things and going into the wrong hands.

With the disaster of Brexit and their incompetence over Covid the UK government are deeply unpopular [9], and their constant U-turns are adding to that day by day. 

They could go at a push and we are pushing, why not stand up and join us?

References

  1. Scottish councils ‘on their knees’ amid £767m pandemic bill, Herald, 2021.
  2. Pest control firm forced to recall faulty face masks after netting £170 million PPE contract, The London Economic, 2020.
  3. Watchdog criticises government over awarding of £17bn Covid contracts, Financial Times, 2020.
  4. £205 billion: the cost of Trident, CND, 2021.
  5. Treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons, UN, 2021.
  6. Heathrow urged to ‘come clean’ on third runway costs, Travel Weekly, 2019.
  7. Cost of UK’s HS2 rail project soars…again, KHL, 2020.
  8. High Speed Rail (HS2) – stop and rethink!, The Wildlife Trusts, 2021.
  9. Boris Johnson would lose majority and seat in election tomorrow, The Guardian, 2021.

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