Niddrie not all ‘doom and gloom’, says councillor

Callum Laidlaw. Picture Michael Gillen
Callum Laidlaw. Picture Michael Gillen
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CALLUM Laidlaw, Tory councillor for Portobello and Craigmillar, has leapt to Niddrie’s defence following claims that it is overrun with drugged up “zombies”.

“Niddrie and Greater Craigmillar have seen a huge amount of change in the last decade,” he said. “It would be unfair to highlight a few rundown areas that haven’t been through the regeneration.”

He said tenements dating back to the 1950s and 60s had been torn down and replaced with a mix of social, private and council-owned housing.

And he singled out Castlebrae High headteacher Norma Prentice for “turning around” the school.

“It’s doing some interesting partnerships with banks and others – it’s quite an incredible school and doing some positive stuff,” he said.

“It’s not all doom and gloom.

“There’s a long history of drug problems in the area but they are being addressed. Calling these people zombies when they’re people’s brothers, sisters and parents does not help and makes people scared to go to the area.

“They’re good people from this area and I’ve heard cases of people not getting jobs being an issue because of this type of reporting. It doesn’t help the people who live there who are actually hardworking and live in nice houses.

“There’s a mix of people heading to live in Craigmillar and it’s not something to be embarrassed about. If you drive around and see the new housing it’s comparable to anywhere in Edinburgh.”