Comment: Fringe scheme should be applauded

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A BIG handclap to the Gilded Balloon, who have announced this year that Edinburgh residents will receive discounts to their top shows on four separate dates.

All of the city benefits from the world-class array of events every August but sometimes we need a reminder that this is our city for the other 11 months. The discount scheme is a great idea and should be applauded.

The Festival Wheel in Princes Street Gardens is also offering EH residents a price reduction.

Perhaps the only question is: why has it taken so long for this to happen?

Let’s hope other venues come on board and recognise that without the people of Edinburgh, this annual arts jamboree just couldn’t happen.

Drunk & disorderly

Statistics rarely tell the full story, but when it comes to today’s figures on violent crime and disorder, there will be few who do not believe alcohol has played a part.

Police Scotland has recorded some success in certain areas in its first year, amid the high-profile controversies, but the force cannot get to grips with alcohol-fuelled crime on its own.

As the number of licensed premises continue to grow, it is surely time for a new examination of licensing policy to create robust controls.

When the force’s objections are repeatedly over-ruled by councillors then it must suggest something is wrong with the current system.

The greater the availability of alcohol, the more the crime reports will continue to rise.

Edinburgh is not alone in the battle with the bottle, it is a sad picture repeated across the country.

But we can take the lead in tackling it.