Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Decision time

I've been asked to report on the public meeting sponsored by Unison which I attended earlier in the week.  It was held in the Appleton Tower.

As you may imagine there was much talk of "cuts" and "fights" and "strikes".

As you can probably also imagine that it was not a meeting conducive to balanced consideration.   As an example, the chair, Evening News SNP columnist Martin Hannan  left us in no doubt where he stood.  "Shocked and appalled" at the proposals being considered he assured us, "I'm going to be in the first rank of a campaign"(against the proposals).  Cue future articles - though this evening there is currently going round some suggestion that SNP colleagues have now decided they cannot support the process.

There were two specific questions of me, as a trustee of the Lothian Pension Fund.
  1. The first was whether the LPF has investments in Enterprise, the recommended bidder. It has - through its parent company.  The LPF is a separate entity from the Council.    
  2. There was a further suggestion that it is illegal, after allowing current staff to TUPE across to the Pension Fund, to close the Fund to new entrants - as they will not be council employees.  As the Fund has been closed to new entrants in other employments this is not an unusual procedure.  I have been assured that this proposed procedure is not illegal.

I will try and get an early post tomorrow after the decision has been taken.  It should be late afternoon.

More background information and a link to the report before the Council tomorrow is in my earlier post.

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