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Toxic culture in Scottish councils?

You’ll have noticed some noise around Councillors speaking up with Untribal in recent days. It comes after Edinburgh Council announced grant cuts from £175k to £50k for Citadel Youth Centre in Leith.

The same Centre happens to be down the road from me and one I volunteer at every week. They’ve barked up the wrong tree, to say the least.

In the same weeks and months we’re talking about how knife crime needs to be clamped down on, risking vital servants to local communities like Citadel, which take kids off the streets, is astonishing.

For clarity, the budget the Councillors are working with hasn’t changed. They’re shifting money elsewhere.

Why is this controversial? Well… what are they investing in instead? If money is taken out of the Leith community, which area is it going to instead?

You’d think this information would’ve been public knowledge but Cllr Adam McVey tells us there’s been an unprecedented “culture of secrecy” compared to what he’s seen in his previous 12 years at the Council.

Usually there are criteria drawn up that balance the reasoning behind such decisions. Usually organisations are consulted. Usually sign offs go through two rounds of democratic scrutiny.

And yet all this was done in private because of a claim to include sensitive information. Cllr McVey finds this surprising considering every year, this decision, along with like decisions, have always been made in public.

What could possibly have been needed to be private?

I’m not sure why they thought such a steep cut in funding for a cornerstone local institution like Citadel would go under the radar, because this seems to have struck a serious nerve amongst other Councillors. They’re speaking up about toxic cultures and feel the lack of media attention is undeserving. One of which will be speaking on the Untribal podcast in the coming days.

Citadel Youth Centre has enough in the coffers for a few months, but if there’s fears of shutting down after Easter, you better believe there’s going to be plenty of noise around the Leith community.

I’ve got a feeling this may grow arms and legs…. I’m certainly not letting up.


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