Unison, the main union of council workers, is concerned that the imminent local government reorganisation and a squeeze on spending by the Scottish Ofﬁce will combine to force a reduction in services.
Today (Thursday) the Scottish electorate was asked to vote for local authorities that had never existed before. and won‘t come to power for another year. The reason is that Scotland's entire local authority structure has been reorganised under Government decree. in an attempt to ‘streamline‘ the municipal sector.
There are currently 62 regional and district councils; after 1 April next year there will only be 32 ‘unitary' authorities with sole responsibility for all council services. Glasgow and Edinburgh will both have a single city council which combines existing district and regional responsibilities.
Almost everyone outside the Scottish Office involved in local govemment resisted the changes. but most have now agreed to co-operate with the handover. Unison. the union which represents the bulk of local govemment
employees. is now encouraging its members to vote for candidates with the biggest commitment to safeguarding jobs and services. The union's £100,000 advertising campaign to encourage a high turn out was
In Unison the controversial ad campaign that was the subject of a High Court challenge
unsuccessfully challenged at the High Court in Edinburgh this week by two Conservative candidates who believed 'the campaign was illegal ‘political' advertising.
Unison‘s biggest concern about
Union questions promised savings from council upheaval
reorganisation is obviously for its members‘ jobs. The bulk of council employees in direct services - refuse collectors. teachers. care workers — are almost certain to continue in the same jobs. Their fear is for employees in central administration; reducing the tiers of admin workers was one of the stated aims of reorganisation. Though. Unison has secured pledges that all existing staff will be offered jobs in the new councils. it may mean a change of job or relocation.
Another worry is that the actual cost of reorganisation will have to come out of service budgets. CoSLA. which represents all Scottish local authorities. estimates the cost could add up to over £700 million.
‘We don't believe the Scottish ()ffice has thought out the consequences of reorganisation.‘ says Unison‘s head of local government. Mark lrvine. ‘There's no certainty that the overall Scottish local authority budget on services will be less. We are going to have all the problems of moving to a new system but with fewer ﬁnancial resources.‘ (Eddie Gibb)
Safe sex and bondage tie- in from SAM
Although many of the basic trappings of bondage and fetishism have long been incorporated in catwalk style, the world of slaves and masters is still regarded as dark and sinister. Scottish AIDS Monitor aims to demystify this world during its Gay Men’s Spring Project, which includes an event called ‘Bondage for Beginners’. The two-day introduction to bondage has been organised by SAM’s Peter Scott, who has over ten years experience of working in AIDS- related fields. This course reflects new ways in which health educators
w. . _ Bondage: learning the ropes are trying to ‘sugar the pill’ of the safe sex message. The basic facts are well known — it’s getting people to act
on them that’s the problem, says Scott.
‘If a person wants to get tied up, he gets turned on by losing control,’ he says. ‘The crucial question for the AIDS educator is how someone like that maintains the control not to get fucked without a condom.’
Along with practical hints on knot tying and ways of minimising actual physical damage, the course’s basic message is on how to maintain control in ‘the theatre of power’.
Exploiting this interest in more bizarre forms of sexual activity is Fetish, one of the programmes in Channel 4’s controversial Red Light Zone. The programme attempts to explore the fascination of fetishes which range from fun with chickens to hanging. A bit of knot practice would clearly be helpful. (Rory Weller)
SAM’s Bondage for Beginners course is on 29/30 April. Call 0141 353 3133 for details. Fetish is on Saturday 8 April on Channel 4.
This year‘s Edinburgh International Festival is set to be the largest ever. with director Brian McMaster' announcing details last week showing an increased budget and bigger ticket sales targets. The planned expansion follows another massive increase last year in the number of burns filling seats. due mainly to the opening of the Festival Theatre. Now for this year‘s festival the Assembly Hall on the Mound has been returned to active service.
it also looks set to become the most expensive festival yet. with a programme of international events costing almost £5 million to stage. Around £2 million has still to be raised just to break even. To spread the risk of relying on ticket sales. a new range of festival merchandise has been launched. Books, whisky glasses and other assorted souvenirs are on offer to
Bill T. Jones: ‘victim art‘ at the festival
visitors looking for that festival souvenir. if all this marketing hype leaves you
McMaster dishes up a Festival whopper
spinning. the programme itselfshould too. A role call of world names is spearheaded by TAG‘s home grown epic adaptation of Alasdair (iray‘s Lunar/r. A heavy emphasis on music meanwhile. brings some of the most ambitious works to these shores, including one piece that needs two large clocks to keep things. crm. ticking over.
Whether bigger is necessarily better is something we'll just have to wait and see. though controversy is guaranteed with Bill T. Jones‘ dance piece about AIDS and other terminal diseases SUN/Herc, which has been described as ‘victim art' in America. The annual festival frisson could start any day. (Neil Cooper)
The lir/in/mr‘e/r International I’m/[val is from I -i‘ August-2 Sim/ember. Fax ’nmki/rg ope/rs rm [3 April on 013/ 226 766‘).
I Location change Scottish Screen Locations, which was set up to encourage producers to shoot films in Scotland. has appointed Celia Stevenson as its new director. Stevenson was formerly head of programme planning at Scottiin TelevisionShe takes over from Lee Leckic who leaves at the end of April. I Fired up The spectacular pagan celebration. the Beltane Fire which takes place on Calton Hill, Edinburgh every year. needs performers and stewards to help light tip the event. Anyone interested in taking part should call ()l 31 220 18H and leave name and number.
I Talking our language Liz. Lochead is delivering the annual Scotch Malt Whisky Society's lecture which was started up to help spark debate on the preservation of the Scots language. Lochead‘s lecture is called ‘l’elticoat Tales. or a Personal ()dyssey from the Kcelie to the (.‘orbie‘. Catch Liz at the Malt Whisky Society. 87 Giles Street. Edinburgh on 'l'uesday l 1 April at 7.30pm. Details on 013] 554 345 l.
I Dance stance l’eoplekind. the dance group which works with able-bodied and disabled performers. is holding an open-day to publicise its work. The event is at Dance base. Assembly Rooms. Edinburgh on Thursday 20 April from 10am—5pm.
I Flaw talent Scotland's first national ‘battle ofthe bands' competition, Raw 95. has been launched and the organisers are looking for bands to send in demo tapes. Heats featuring 200 bands playing live will be held in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee in June. with a final in July at the Tramway. Glasgow. The winning band or artist scoops a £10,000 prize. The deadline for submitting tapes is 21 April. All details and application forms are available in John Menzies shops.
4 The List 7-20 Apr I995