The City of Edinburgh Council can do more to fulfil its potential and further improve the lives of citizens

26 November 2020
The City of Edinburgh Council report cover and map of Scotland

The City of Edinburgh Council can do more to fulfil its potential and further improve the lives of citizens.

Over the last four years many services provided by the City of Edinburgh Council have improved, its finances have been well-managed and ambitious strategies to improve the lives of local people and the economy have been agreed.

In a report published today the Accounts Commission says, however, that since 2016 there has been mixed progress at a strategic level, across community engagement and continuous improvement.;

The council must now put in place a long-term financial strategy and a more effective workforce plan. Both are essential for the council to address the additional pressures the impact of Covid-19 has placed on the council, and support how it will fund and manage its vision for the future. Strong leadership and clear, collaborative working with local partners are vital to realise these ambitions.

Across Scotland, Covid-19 has exacerbated existing inequalities, an issue of significant concern to the Accounts Commission. Whilst Edinburgh is, overall, a prosperous city, the Commission urge the council to continue to lead and progress its commitment to reducing poverty and inequality across the city. The council should also do more to embed community empowerment throughout the council's culture, enabling local people to improve public services and their communities.

Elma Murray, Interim Chair of the Accounts Commission said,

The City of Edinburgh Council can do more to maximise its potential to improve the city and the lives of local people. Whilst the ambition of the council and its partners is impressive, the detail of how it will deliver, monitor and report on its key strategic goals must be in one accessible and coherent plan. It is the responsibility of all local councillors, working together, to ensure the city and its services continue to improve.

It is important for the council to focus on continuous improvement and the creation of long-term financial and workforce plans. I expect the council to act swiftly on our report. Doing so will support the council's ambitions to improve the lives of its residents.