‘It must be sorted as soon as possible’

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THE latest report into the Capital’s bin fiasco amounts to a long mea culpa from Edinburgh City Council. The authority has admitted that crews were not always informed about the right location of bins, not given the correct access codes for bin stores, and in some cases collection routes were simply too long.

It also accepts that its complaints procedure was unable to cope with the volume of calls from the public after the problems associated with the move to fortnightly collections.

Measures are now in place to tackle these issues although it could be another two weeks before the system settles down. Curiously, the council appears reluctant to blame refuse staff themselves, even though there is evidence that that there has not been full co-operation from employees on the ground. A union press release last month that said members could not pick up black bags from the public due to the risk of musculoskeletal problems was particularly telling.

However, the union representing bin staff has no such qualms, citing “systemic management issues” and saying the views and experience of binmen were ignored while change was being planned.

The new Labour-SNP administration at the City Chambers has made a good start and has experienced politicians such as Lesley Hinds in key posts.

The problem, however, is that the public don’t see bin collection as something that should be difficult to organise.

And with the hangover from the trams, there is a easy narrative for residents to pick up on: the council are useless and can’t organise anything. This isn’t true, but for the sake of the the public’s sanity and the council’s reputation, this problem must be sorted out as soon as possible.

The ‘nos’ have it

boy is there a passionate heritage lobby in Portobello these days.

Even the shade of a shop front sign and “the amount of glazing and aluminium frame” it proposes to use are enough to spark an organised protest campaign.

Or maybe there is another agenda behind the objections to Sainsbury’s application for its new store on Porty High Street.

Of course, everyone deserves their say on a big local development like this, and it is to be hoped Sainsbury’s will work with the community to overcome any serious concerns.

But the anti-supermarket campaigners – because that is surely what most of these objectors are – might want to consider how their protest looks to outside eyes. Does Edinburgh’s seaside really want the “Porty says naw to everything” reputation that it is gathering in other parts of the city?