Leader: Deserving party for unsung local heroes

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COUNCIL spending has never been more under the microscope. After the huge amount of money spent on the trams – a portion it squandered over several years through mismanagement – and the compensation payouts over statutory notices, Edinburgh City Council is feeling the pinch. Add in the deep spending cuts that all local authorities are facing and it’s no wonder that every penny counts.

Yesterday, Lord Provost Donald Wilson threw a garden party at Lauriston Castle.

But rather than feel aggrieved about another lavish do with free food and drink for those who don’t need it, the Lord Provost chose to invite Edinburgh’s real heroes – ordinary men, women and children who have made a difference in their communities and shown great fortitude in overcoming adversity.

Indeed, some of the invitees were those nominated by you for awards at the Evening News Local Hero Awards in June.

Whether they are charity 
fundraisers, tireless volunteer workers or just good neighbours, they have all done something special to brighten the lives of their fellow Edinburgh citizens.

Each deserves our gratitude, any credit which comes their way, and all the crustless cucumber sandwiches they want.

Furthermore, it was all at no cost to the local taxpayer, through the generous sponsorship of Virgin Money, which is headquartered in the Capital.

A side benefit is that the garden party showcased Lauriston Castle itself, a wonderful 16th century house with splendid gardens that overlook the Forth. The castle is run by the council and is often overlooked in a city which boasts so many five-star attractions.

Our Lord Provost’s garden party is a model of financial prudence and community involvement which should be repeated annually.