Contact your councillor, MSP or MP about the Edinburgh care home closures

Here’s a draft letter for sending to Councillors, MSPs and MPs about the proposal to close care homes.  Please write to your local councillor’s, your MSP and your MP.  You can use the text below, but even better to adapt it and include your own thoughts and comments.  You should get a reply and if you do please forward it to the Another Edinburgh is Possible Campaign via

You can download this file to find out who your elected representatives are and how to contact them

You can find more information about the closures on the campaign blog

Dear                ,

I am writing to request that you join the council unions and the families of residents in making a stand against the proposal to close five publicly run residential care homes in Edinburgh.  

Currently the Edinburgh Integration Joint Board (EIJB) will meet in August to consider a proposal to close the five homes.  Fords Road, Clovenstone, Jewel House and Ferrylee homes are to be shut completely and Drumbrae is to become a facility for medically led care of the elderly. 

These closures will have a major negative impact on the provision of residential care in the city, on the care workers who work in the homes and on the lives of the residents who will be uprooted and scattered around the city.  Disgracefully, there was no public consultation before news of the planned closures was released tocare home workers, less than two weeks before the June meeting of the EIJB.

In the wake of the Feeley report, and in the clear knowledge that demands for residential care will continue to rise in years to come, the actions of the EIJB are indefensible.  Care homes are people’s homes, and the board has shown scant concern for the lives of the residents or the livelihoods of those who care for them.  Moreover, they show a contempt for local democracy and accountability.

As an elected representative I expect you to take the side of the residents and the care home workers. Please let me know how you plan to show your opposition to the EIJB plans.


Protesting as the EIJB meets to consider care home closures

As the board met at 10am today, we stood in socially distanced solidarity with the residents, the care workers and with the deputations to the EIJB from the Council unions and Edinburgh TUC.

Brian Robertson from Unite made his deputation from outside Ferrylea

Here is the text of deputations to the board from the Edinburgh Trades Union Council:

Bed Based  Care – Phase One Strategy

My name is Des Loughney, Secretary of Edinburgh Trade Union Council. My colleague is Kathy Jenkins who is a delegate to Edinburgh TUC. We would like to thank the Board for agreeing to hear our deputation. I will speak for five minutes and Kathy for the other five.

The reason we decided to seek a deputation is that the local trade union movement is very interested in the future of Scottish Social Care. We made a submission to the Feeley Review and participated in the Social Care debate that took place at the April Congress of the Scottish Trades Union Congress. This debate formulated a trade union policy on the future of Social Care in Scotland. When we learnt of the paper that is Item 7.1 we were curious  how that fitted into thinking about the future of Social Care. We are aware that the Scottish Government will be introducing legislation this year which will take up at least some of the Feeley recommendations.

It has been difficult to digest the whole paper as we only saw the final copy on Wednesday last week and became aware that recommendations of the paper will be amended. We were sent copy of the amendment on Friday afternoon. It has been difficult to fully digest the report in the time available.

We think that the actions proposed in the amendment are positive but we have questions about points (iii) and (iv).

Before I comment on the points I wish to say that Edinburgh TUC understands the concerns of the workforce and their trade unions about the way they were informed about the proposals contained within 7.1. After all their heroic efforts during the past fifteenth months of COVID, after enduring constant anxieties about protective equipment, putting their lives and their families lives at risk, the health and well being of their residents, they did not want added further anxieties about the future of their jobs. Staff had assumed that the rhetoric from politicians and senior management regarding their value now and in the future was meant. Their experience over the last couple of weeks has dismayed staff. We welcome point (ii) of the amendment in the expectation that engagement with trade unions will be real and that staff concerns about their future are fully addressed.

We think the paper for item 7.1 does not address the public’s main anxieties or concerns about the future of Social Care in Edinburgh (and Scotland). These main concerns are:

  • Have the lessons from COVID been learnt? Is the social care system going to be changed so that we are better able to deal with the remainder of this epidemic and future similar epidemics? How we are going to avoid, in future,  the alarming death toll in care homes which some people say were entirely preventable. How are we going to avoid resident isolation and associated distress and mental ill health? How is Social Care going to deal with the increasing challenges of Long Covid?
  • What will be the ongoing impact of austerity on social care plans. People are sceptical that any progressive plans will be delivered in full to all the people that need the service . Plans will be watered down in volume and content. Eventually a system of rationing will creep in. The EIJB needs to be very clear about whether or not the resources  will be available to implement their proposals.
  •  COVID revealed the problems that arise when you have to deal with an emergency having poorly trained, poorly managed and poorly paid staff, so bad that there is a 25% turnover of staff every year. We hope resources as mentioned in (v) can be identified. If not we hope that the EIJB will able to specify what is required from the Scottish Government.
  • What is the EIJB going to do about addressing the deficiencies of the private sector that were so clearly exposed by COVID? How does it happen that ten months into the epidemic the Care Commission has to issue a letters of serious concern to the Braid Hills Nursing Centre regarding COVID standards? On page 153 the paper allows the possibility that some residents of the homes proposed for closure may be offered accomodation within what is termed the private marketplace. What assurances can you give the public that the placements will be now and in the future safe and of good quality?

In looking at the points on the proposed amendment we consider that point (iii) should be amended. To (iii) should be added “and commissioning new build care homes to replace the places lost by the closure of the four homes to be run by the City of Edinburgh Council  and staffed by local authority employees”. Taking account of all that is stated in the paper we consider that there should also be plans to build new care homes to meet increasing demands and including replacing inadequate private sector homes/beds.  At the moment there seems to be an assumption that if the demand for care home places increase it will be solely met through the private sector. This , because of the problems of the private sector, is a poor and unwelcome strategy.

In relation to point (iv) I hope that there will be a thorough detailing of the investment that will be required to provide the service specified throughout Edinburgh; available to all who need the service, taking into account the impact of increasing poverty.

At the moment we are assuming that the Scottish Government will, in 2021/22 introduce legislation to set up a Scottish Care Service with a changed role for local authorities and Integration Joint Boards. I hope that in August there will be a discussion of how such changes might affect your strategy – that the possible changes will be part of an impact assessment.

Thank you for listening. I will happy to answer any questions clarifying what I have said.

Des Loughney


Edinburgh TUC

EIJB ETUC deputation. 22 June 2021
Contribution from Kathy Jenkins

As Des has said, I am Kathy Jenkins.  I welcome the opportunity to speak to you today in response to your social care proposals.

Des has addressed some of the issues involved in the changes proposed for care homes.   I would like to concentrate mainly on recommendations 4 and 5:  investment for home care and community infrastructure; and workforce planning – the measures to be taken to support the recruitment, retention and development of staff.    

Before I do that, though, I would make a few wider comments.  First it seems to us that Liberton Hospital is being closed at a time when NHS hospitals are under severe pressure and that changes in social care provision in Edinburgh are to some extent being driven by a need for savings/income generation in the NHS. Second, we believe that what is needed, in terms of quality of care, working conditions and cost, is a reduction in reliance on the for-profit sector and an increase in public sector provision.   Third, we welcome plans to increase intermediate care and would confirm your statement that there is hidden need – known through the personal experience of people being discharged from hospital to unsuitable situations without assessment being done of their rehabilitation needs.  We also see as crucial that respite care services be retained and expanded to provide support for carers.   Fourth, you plan to increase the number of nursing homes through various changes including employment of nurses.   As these homes will be dealing with more complex needs, will there be changes to the training, pay and conditions of other staff in these homes? 

Coming to care at home, we welcome the emphasis in the paper on creating a social care system which will support people to stay in their own homes and communities for as long as possible.  But this will only work if it is well resourced.  Will this be the case for those over 65 as well as younger?   In my experience a cap can be put on expenditure if it is more than the cost of a care home bed for those over 65, meaning they cannot be given the home care they need.   Will night as well as day support be given?  If this is the case, proposals will need to include provision of suitable housing.   

We welcome your discussion of the 20 minute neighbourhood (and wider discussion in Scotland of community hubs), but if we understand them correctly this would need major changes in care at home provision.   At present our understanding is that care at home services in Edinburgh are given by a large number of providers.   This is inefficient, as different providers can be working in the same geographical area.  What is needed is a rationalisation of provision around the community hub/20 minute neighbourhood to enable those needing care and home care staff providing that care to integrate into the community and support each other.   Many of the current providers are in the private sector.  Again, we would argue for a reduction in reliance on the for-profit sector and an increase in public sector provision.   We believe this would have a positive impact on quality and know that it would have a positive impact on worker health, safety and welfare.     We have looked in some detail at both published and anecdotal evidence regarding the health and safety issues faced by social care workers, and particularly those employed on poor terms and conditions in the third and private sectors.  These include:

 *lack of rest and welfare facilities
*lack of adequate staffing and equipment for moving  and handling
*issues relating to the physical work environment, particularly for those providing care in other’s homes,  e.g. poor or overcrowded housing,  cleanliness,  waste and waste recycling, exposure to chemical and biological hazards;  slips, trips and falls
* physical environments that are not suitable for infection control, both poor or overcrowded housing and institutions like care homes
*hazards involved in lone working, including violence and aggression
*lack of sufficient personal protective equipment, e.g. appropriate grade masks, aprons, gloves, visors, goggles; and inadequacy of arrangements for dealing with contaminated PPE

And additional Issues that have direct implications for both mental and physical health through poverty and work related stress:*precarious contracts ( including zero hour contracts)
*lack of job security
*low pay 
*expectations of ever increasing flexibility by workers; lack of predictability of hours; the burden  of risk of unpredictable social care demand and cost being placed almost entirely upon the workforce
*long working hours; high levels of unpaid overtime;
*lack of support and supervision 
* growth in split shifts; shift patterns resulting in exhaustion, which then causes accidents e.g. care at home staff not paid for travel time so have to work longer hours to get basic pay; difficult  shift patterns in residential care; reductions in paid sleepovers
*issues with entitlement to sick pay and holiday pay
*underuse of skills
*little ability to contribute to decision making
*an expectation for home care workers to do what have been traditionally seen as nursing tasks but without appropriate training and support
*difficulties in accessing training and certification
*inadequate time to carry out required tasks in a way that respects the dignity and care needs of the user 
*administrative tasks having to be done in time designated for care, reducing further the ability to deliver quality care
*no paid time for travel between clients homes reducing further the time given to care
*the resulting low morale and  high levels of stress due unrealistic workload, not enough time for clients, lack of support, not feeling valued, and the absence of meaningful recognition of the importance of relationships in service delivery

I would close with two more comments.   We welcome the community mobilisation you describe but have concerns about how this will be supported given the cuts that have been made in community development staff over recent years.     The proposed Three Conversations model looks interesting and hopeful, but we would have concerns that too heavy a reliance could be put on unpaid, voluntary input.  This is important and valuable, but there must also be well resourced social care provision by paid social care workers alongside.   

Thank you for your attention.  

Kathy Jenkins
Delegate to ETUC
H&S officer, Unite Edinburgh Not for Profit Branch

Save Our Care Homes

A few days ago the Edinburgh Integration Joint Board (EIJB) announced plans to close five publicly run residential care homes: Fords Road, Clovenstone, Jewel House and Ferrylee homes would be shut completely and Drumbrae would have a change the use to medically-led care of the elderly.If these closures go ahead they will have a major negative impact on the provision of residential care in the city, on the care workers who work in the homes and on the lives of the residents who will be uprooted and scattered around the city.

There has been no public consultation and news of the planned closures was released less than two weeks before the scheduled board meeting.

In the wake of the Feeley report, and the clear knowledge that demands for residential care will continue to rise in years to come, the actions of the EIJB are indefensible. Moreover, they show a contempt for local democracy and accountability.The EIJB is a partnership with representatives from Edinburgh City Council and from the NHS.

Another Edinburgh is Possible calls on elected representatives to vote against the plans and for the Board to withdraw its proposals forthwith.

Anger at the decision has already forced a postponement of the decision until the August meeting of the EIJB. To stop the closures we need to build the pressure on the board and on the council.

When the board meets at 10am on Tuesday 22nd June, we will stand in socially distanced solidarity with the residents, the care workers and with the deputations to the EIJB from the Council unions and Edinburgh TUC.Assemble for 10am Tuesday 22nd June at Ferrylee, North Junction Street, Edinburgh EH6 6HR. Bring placards and banners. Save our care homes!

Deputation to the Housing and Homelessness Committee

Hello – I’m Robyn Kane. I’m the chair of the Moredun Multis and Maisonettes Residents Association and a member of the Gilmerton and Inch community council. The resident’s association I represent has 6 high rises and two blocks of Maisonettes totalling over 500 homes. I personally have lived in the high-rises since early 2017 and have had to get in touch with repairs over the years for multiple reasons.  However, when I moved in, I had to ring for several different repairs as the flat was not in a fit state to move into when I first signed the lease.

The overwhelming issue myself and the tenants I represent are having is with the windows in the tenancies, and the surrounding problems because of the windows being in disrepair. This includes mould and condensation on, or inside the double glazing. The issue of mould, damp and condensation is causing damage to people’s physical and mental health. The overwhelming number of the tenants I represent are in fuel poverty, having to choose between food and heat, what makes this even worse is that because the windows are not airtight the cost of keeping the home warm goes up as the hot air escapes. 

Moredun Multis image by Kay Williams CC BY-SA 2.0

Reading the report, I was disappointed to read that a lot of the issues are being blamed on covid-19 as I am aware that issues have been going on longer than the pandemic. For example, paragraph 4.40, we have AOVs that where the wrong fitting in our Landings that are now being held open with a nail and some wiring. Another example is how the City of Edinburgh Council are passing the buck to Changeworks who themselves are over run to the point of non-communication for months as the waiting lists to get help are so long! 

Lastly before my time ends I would like to ask how the City of Edinburgh Council plan on actually bettering the system to help prevent the formation of mould, damp and condensation in tenancies, how the new resolution team are going to affect the complaints procedure and if this will make it even more difficult for someone to file a complaint with either the council or the ombudsman, and lastly I’d like to know how the City of Edinburgh Council plan on making these reports more assessable to the public and associations, as this report as well as the repairs report was passed onto me by a local Councillor and lack of transparency hinders my ability to best help the community I represent.

Our City: Housing and Homelessness

This is a report of the meeting on Housing and Homelessness in Edinburgh, which we held on 22nd April 2021. In our recent survey of how Edinburgh residents feel about councils services just under a half felt that housing services were poor and a similar proportions were unhappy with support for the homeless. In the rest of this post you can find a video record of all the contributions and then the outputs from the discussion groups.

The meeting was introduced and chaired by Robyn Kane

The first speaker was Gary Peden a member of the Unite City of Edinburgh Council Union branch

Gary was followed by Maddie Lou Barink who works for Shelter

Next up was Malcolm Fraser and Edinburgh based architect who talked about how we can build homes fit for people and fit for a sustainable future

Malcolm illustrated his talk with these slides.

Following Malcolm we heard from Willie Black. Willie is a member of Unite and a long-time campaigner in North Edinburgh

We then heard from council tenant Robin Ricci of her experiences of housing in Edinburgh

The final speaker was Pauline Nicol-Bowie from LIFT (low income families together)

We then broke into groups to share experiences and think about next steps. These slides summarise some of the points that were made. They are work in progress not the whole story. Please contact us by email to get involved in developing these ideas and helping take them forward.

We concluded by adopting this statement:

Scottish Parliament Elections 2021

Ask your local candidates to support the ‘Another Scotland is Possible’ pledge

Image by Mary and Angus Hogg / The Scottish Parliament Building / CC BY-SA 2.0

Members of Another Edinburgh is Possible worked with Another Glasgow is Possible and activists around Scotland to produce this statement aimed at individuals standing in the 2021 Scottish Parliament Elections. Email the pledge to your local candidates, raise the questions at hustings events and ask candidates to sign up to the pledge.

If I am elected on May 6th to become a Member of the Scottish Parliament, I pledge to support or if necessary initiate: (please answer YES or NO)

Policies to introduce a fairer funding system for local authorities recognising the need to replace the expense-driven G.E.D funding model adopted by COSLA with a needs-based model that reflects the actual needs of the rural and urban authorities, especially those dealing with significant levels of deprivation.

An anti-austerity investment programme in the public sector to kick-start the post Covid/ Brexit economy, using the relevant economies of scale to create municipally / regionally / locally managed infrastructure which incorporates training, education and employment, to deliver a green recovery in response to the climate emergency.

Awarding Scotland’s 920,000 Key Workers an immediate £2-an-hour pay rise, underpinned by a £12 minimum wage, through existing collective bargaining structures.

Removing food insecurity and fuel poverty by scrapping Universal Credit and replacing it with a benefits system which safeguards against destitution, discrimination and reinforced inequality.

Nationalising our Care Home and Home Care systems, making them accountable and profiteer-proof, and improving conditions for our elderly population and the workforce which deliver services to them.

Deliver the changes needed in de-carbonising transport and energy demands by investing in renewable energy.

Planning and enabling a free, integrated and publicly owned public transport system across Scotland.

Planning and enabling a mass programme of retrofitting all buildings to make them more heat-efficient.

Signing immediately, whether or not I am elected, the Zero Covid Scotland campaign Pledge  to eliminate the virus and end the epidemic in Scotland.

Please email with your reply.

The Feeley Report on adult social care

Marlyn Tweedie shares some thoughts on the Feeley report into the provision of Care in Scotland.  The report was published on 3rd Feb 2021 – compiled by Derek Feeley, a former director general for health and Social care within the Scottish Government.

The enquiry raised a degree of hope that perhaps a Care Service – adequately funded and resourced – would be a possibility. Unfortunately, despite the report ‘s remit as being “to recommend improvements to adult social services” and good, researched evidence that highlights the lack of services and the suffering caused to service users, it’s recommendations won’t, in my opinion, deliver.

Firstly, the call is for a national care service not a nationalised one.  It rules out a nationalised service because it would be too expensive. It usess the example of the case of the care home for the elderly in Skye  – Home Farm – where 10 residents died of Covid, saying it would cost £900,000 to nationalise. And that is unaffordable. They argue it would be more productive to try to get the service providers to improve.

There is no acknowledgement that the priority of the Private sector is to their shareholders not to meeting the needs of the residents.

Also, the report recommends centralising responsibility for the care service within the Scottish Government and appointing a Minister for Social Care. This would take it away from the control and accountability of Local Authorities. Not a move in the right direction, in my view.

Throughout, there is as a “given” the idea that integrating the Social Care Service with the Health Service is logical and would lead to efficiency and improvement. But it doesn’t say how this would automatically happen. I think we should be wary. When it was first mooted – 10? Years ago, saving money was an explicit goal. And “bed blocking” was seen as an expensive cost. There is nothing to say that staff or service users will benefit. We love our NHS – especially now – but many staff are underpaid.  And, in any case, the report talks of procuring services; continuing commission which means the staff employed will be employed by the outsourced companies rather than the NHS.

By contrast, the care staff employed by the Local Authority have secure conditions – sick pay, holiday pay etc and a wage £18,000 – £21,000 annually and they have overtime rates for unsocial hours. It’s not great but much, much better than the Private Sector.

The report is full of talk of Human Rights; allowing everyone to develop their potential etc. It acknowledges that this can’t happen when care is restricted and when it’s paid for as opposed to being free at the point of need. It does, to its credit, recommend that all care is free. At the moment it’s only free for over 65’s.

But it doesn’t commit to a set sum per hour. Campaigning groups argue for £15.00 an hour. Nick Kempe argues for parity with Local Authority wages. The report talks of a national job evaluation.  There is no guarantee that this would give a reasonable wage to Care / Support workers. 

In line with ruling out nationalisation, the report talks of “ethical procurement”. We have that at the moment. Bidders promise the earth to get the contracts  – then, as we know, it unravels.

All in all, the report has good evidence and could make a great case for nationalisation delivered by a workforce which has decent pay and conditions.

It, at least, acknowledges the problem – but falls far short of providing a solution.

Nick Kempe has written very astute articles on this issue (see below). I’d highly urge reading his views on it.

Marlyn Tweedie     18th March ‘21   

Nick Kempe talking about Social Care at a meeting of the Edinburgh TUC Covid subcommittee    

An article by Nick Kempe on Care and the Pandemic

and an article on the case for a national care service

Our City

‘Our City’ – the full report of ‘Another Edinburgh is Possible’s’ survey of the views of Edinburgh residents is published today. You can read the report online or download it via this link.

The cover page of the report

Here’s the report forward written by Mary Alexander

I am delighted to have been asked to write the foreword to this excellent report reflecting the views of Edinburgh residents on council services both current and future.

The report highlights significant public concerns over the state of local services and the focus and priorities of the City of Edinburgh Council which are ‘out of kilter’ with residents’ views.  The findings show residents have some sympathy with the council over the financial restrictions imposed by the Scottish and UK Governments and praises council workers who strive to do their best against the odds.  It also makes some notable points and recommendations over how and what local services should be delivered.

We believe this report should be a ‘wake up’ call to Edinburgh’s politicians and service delivery leaders committed to tackling poverty and inequality and delivering a decent public service to all in the community.  The strategic recommendations over Housing, Transport, Tourism and the In-Housing of Edinburgh’s Public Services are sensible ones that cannot be ignored in any serious attempt to end poverty in this wealthy city. Alongside the recommendations of the Edinburgh Poverty Commission to promote “A Just Capital” and End Poverty in Edinburgh by 2030, we lay down a serious challenge to the Council to listen to its residents and communities and respond by using the budget process to reverse the decline in services; build more social housing and tackle the increasing inequality and poverty made worse by the pandemic.  More secure and better paid jobs are key, particularly in the utilisation of public funds through commissioning and procuring services which too often do not reflect the ‘Fair Work’ principles  

Another Edinburgh is Possible is an amalgamation of various community activist groups across Edinburgh who have come together to express their concerns and campaign for better local services.  They are committed to shifting the paradigm of community activism and local democracy and this report is a promising start.  The collective has commissioned, designed and delivered a credible research project which provides a valuable insight for local decision makers.  Edinburgh’s political leaders must pay heed to this report, those who produced it and, importantly, the voices of residents contained within it.

Mary Alexander

Depute Regional Secretary for Scotland, Unite the Union.                                   

Edinburgh Poverty Commission member

Fair Work Convention member 

An Edinburgh Without Homelessness Is Possible

Leslie Cunningham writes

I got to know Rob, a homeless man, about a year ago. On 15th February 2021, he kindly allowed me to interview him. This article attempts to convey what he most eloquently expressed in no more than about fifteen minutes. (!) 

Rob just wants a roof over his head – a hostel is better than nothing – but a bedsit or, ideally, a one-bedroom flat is what he dreams of. He thinks that a monthly rent of about £350 for a one-bedroom flat is reasonable, but we both agreed that £350 would probably pay for a month’s rent of a room in a shared flat in our part of Edinburgh.

He then made the very good point that not nearly enough affordable housing is available in Edinburgh, and that the Council hands over responsibility for building new houses to private developers, who are primarily interested in making as big a profit as possible.

Photograph by Graham Checkley

Rob expressed particular concern about younger people, who are likely to be in precarious, low paid employment. If they are made redundant – as many are during Covid-19 – they may well be unable to pay their rent, and, after the temporary ban on evictions comes to an end, end up out on the streets like Rob.

We discussed what the Council does to support homeless people and agreed that there was a great deal of room for improvement.

Contacting the Council can only be done online or on the phone. Phone calls receive an automated response, which means a lot of time and money is used trying to leave a message. Worryingly, in many cases the Council does not phone back. (2)

When the Niddrie Mains Housing Office reopened temporarily last year, the queues were long, and it was not guaranteed that a client would see their own Housing Officer, as their shifts were randomly allocated. 

People in crisis who arrived at the Housing Office without an appointment often queued all day, only to be turned away at closing time. (3)

So, what did they do? Rob didn’t know.

On one occasion, the Council got Rob one night’s emergency accommodation at the Old Waverley Hotel, where he claims he was robbed.

If he can raise £15, Rob can pay for one night’s accommodation in Bobby’s Bunkhouse, sleeping in a dorm with eight beds (and no screens). The washing and toilet facilities are not clean, and there are no laundry or cooking facilities. And, as Rob remarked, “You don’t know who you’re sharing with.”

It is well known that homeless people, for a number of reasons, are particularly at risk of contracting Covid-19. However, conditions such as those at Bobby’s Bunkhouse are an ideal breeding ground for the virus and its spread, making not only homeless people but also the wider population more vulnerable to its effects. So, there is an epidemiological as well as an ethical reason for taking homeless people off the streets and finding them decent, affordable, safe housing. What about making use of the thousands of unoccupied Air BnBs in Edinburgh? 

It was heartening that, during our short conversation, nearly a dozen people gave Rob money or food. However, we agreed that this article should end like this:



(1) Rob gave permission for his name to be used, and for this article to be published on the Another Edinburgh Is Possible website and elsewhere. He was paid the standard amount of money paid by a researcher for an interview of up to an hour (£20).

Reference (2) is taken from the Interim Report on the AEIP Survey of City of Edinburgh Council services.

(2)  The relationship between the council and service users

The largest number of negative comments (around 21% of the total) related to the council’s attitude towards Edinburgh citizens, difficulties in making contact with relevant services and inadequate or uncompleted responses to requests. In some of the responses there was an explicit reference to feeling forgotten by a council that is perceived to be focused on the needs of students and tourists. Communication very difficult expected [you are] expected to have internet access. …inaccessibility and difficulty in speaking to a “real” person. I find it irritating to have the phone answered (thereby incur a charge) and then be left listening to a pre-recorded message for quite a few minutes. Others may find it more than irritating as it eats up phone credit etc.

Very difficult to get through to anyone in the council who seems to know how to get anything appropriately dealt with. 

(3) Council homeless KPI for public 2020 2021 to Nov 2020 (PDF).  An update has been requested.