In recent days two things have happened that shouldn’t of in Edinburgh. 50 mature trees were felled in Princess Street Gardens and Underbelly – who run many of the festivals in Edinburgh – some with the Council are looking to extend Hogmany for 3 weeks and connect it with events large and small in the City Center to Burns Night.
There is a collective but hardly surprising reaction from many who live and work in the City that cannot be printed here. Residents are aghast that National Galleries had planning permission in the first place to remove the trees in Princess Street Gardens. This was to improve disabled access to the new entrance to the Galleries in the Gardens, which is yet to be built. This planning permission was granted in 2016 and they had 3 years to start works. They started just before the winter festival set up in the Gardens and guess what? Where trees where now we have scaffold forming a platform for yet more Christmas Stalls. Now is that coincident or not? The plans which would of been part of a grand new entrance for the galleries have been scaled back due to engineering costs due to the galleries sitting atop the railway tunnel.
Then we have Underbelly who have a three year contract with the Council to provide the Hogmany program for Edinburgh. Last year they wanted 300 ‘free’ volunteers to work the night and gain work experience for food and bus fare home. Fast forward to 2018 and they want the program to run another 3 weeks into Burns night. And the population cried why?
Money that’s why. And the City Center given up to being a Disney play ground for short term lets and tourists all year around – the locals can put up with or move out right? Time to tell the Council were to go at next election no?
We have four City Center Councillors and its time to email them your thoughts on these developments and ‘improvements’ to our City. Get them to fight the fight when we elected them. Find email details via Edinburgh.gov.uk below:
And from Twitter:
— Andrew Heald (@andyheald) October 31, 2018