Edinburgh ‘should emulate Aberdeen bond sale’

Aberdeen City Council leader Jenny Laing opening the London Stock Exchange at the council's bond issue

Leaders of Unite the union have urged The City of Edinburgh Council to follow the example of Aberdeen City Council which has just completed a successful £370 million bond issue.

The bond issue was oversubscribed and was a first for a Scottish council.

Aberdeen Council leader Jenny Laing performed the opening ceremony at the London Stock Exchange last week to mark the success of the bond issue.

The advice from Unite came as it urged Edinburgh Council’s transport committee to scrap plans to take £20 million in a special dividend from Lothian Buses.

The union said the council “should scrap the plans (for a special dividend) and look at the example of Aberdeen City Council, which recently staged a successful bond issue worth £370 million.”

Unite regional officer Tony Trench said: “We support investment in the future of Edinburgh Trams.

“Our members there are working hard and doing an excellent job serving local people and visitors to the city.

“But that investment shouldn’t be at the expense of Lothian Buses.

“Lothian Buses have been clear — these plans carry risk.

“If the result is increased fares, and cuts to routes and fleet investment, then it is city councillors who will carry the blame.

“The Aberdeen model shows that there are other, more sustainable, ways of raising finance for the successful future of Edinburgh Trams.

“Simply robbing Peter to pay Paul is short sighted and dangerous.”