Comment: Government must help pay for work

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no one who lives or works in Edinburgh will be surprised to learn of the extent of the infrastructure investment needed in the Capital.

If you drive down traffic-choked and potholed streets, send your children to schools that are bursting at the seam or can’t afford to get on the housing ladder, then you know to your cost what happens when not enough is spent on the essentials.

The housing crisis in Edinburgh has been growing for many years. The city needs more homes to provide for the increasing number of people who want to live and work here. But what is equally clear is that the Capital cannot cope with this huge influx of new homes – the Scottish Government is demanding 32,000 over the next ten years – without a corresponding investment in the communities surrounding them.

The roads cannot cope with the thousands of new cars these new residents will inevitably bring. Their needs to be huge improvements, both to the existing road network and public transport to entice as many people as possible on to buses, trams, trains and bikes. Similarly, our schools cannot continue without a huge classroom building programme, at new and existing schools.

The half a billion pounds figure is the latest estimate of the cost of ensuring communities across Edinburgh are not overwhelmed.

The money must be found and the cash-strapped city cannot shoulder the bill on its own. Private housing developers will have to pay their share, but the Scottish Government must help too.

The Holyrood Government is quite rightly demanding these new homes are built in Edinburgh. It has a duty to ensure that those of us living here do not suffer as a result.

Whether it is through the proposed City Deal or some other means, some way must be found to ensure that more of the taxes raised in the Capital stay here to sort these deep-rooted problems.