Comment: Do you believe council ‘happiness poll’?

Edinburgh residents have had to put up with a fair bit. Picture: Jane Barlow
Edinburgh residents have had to put up with a fair bit. Picture: Jane Barlow
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Edinburgh City Council say 91 per cent of city centre residents are happy with the state of the Capital, but what do you think? What would you change about Edinburgh? Leave a comment and tell us.

At first glance, you might think city chiefs would be pleased with a survey which shows 91 per cent of city centre residents are satisfied with their surroundings. Break out the Champagne, job done.

AT first glance, you might think city chiefs would be pleased with a survey which shows 91 per cent of city centre residents are satisfied with their surroundings. Break out the Champagne, job done.

Except of course there is one big problem. Absolutely no-one outside the City Chambers will believe it. The fact that satisfaction has apparently trebled in the space of a year is the first alarm bell. The second comes when you go to the city centre and open your eyes.

Our own straw-poll – of course not as sophisticated as the city council’s survey – could find little evidence to suggest we are flying high on the happiness index, quite the opposite.

Now that’s not to say we disagree with a survey. It is right that the council takes the temperature of the people about the city but surely questions have to be asked in the wake of the results.

Far from celebrating, this report has instead landed the council’s spin doctors with a major PR headache.

We are, of course, counting the days until the trams begin running, an event we hope and expect will lead to the revitalisation of the city centre. You might predict a survey after a few months of the trams to show increasing levels of satisfaction as the roadworks are removed and we grow to appreciate a modern and efficient transport link.

After recording these results, however, it seems the only way for next year’s survey to go is down. Explain that one.