Leader: ‘The screen is an expensive indulgence’

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The giant TV screen in Festival Square has certainly had its moments.

It was bouncing when Andy Murray won Wimbledon, with a huge and happy crowd cheering every glorious, winning shot played out on the 280sq ft screen above them. Moments like these are always best shared, and there can’t have been many better places to have savoured Andy’s victory, bar having a ticket for Centre Court or a spot on Murray Mound.

These are the kind of scenes that city leaders and bosses at the Beeb must have imagined when they invested in the screen ahead of the London Olympics.

But for every Murray moment there has been a spectacular damp squib, like the rugby international which saw the council shell out £400 for stewards only to find officials outnumbering the spectators.

Councillors now faced with a £26,000-a-year bill are right to pull the plug on any more public funds. It has simply failed to catch the public imagination and has to be seen as an expensive indulgence. Try explaining to young people at the Engine Shed, for example, why taxpayers should fund it when their lifeline centre is threatened with closure due to council funding cuts.

Cutting public funding, though, shouldn’t necessarily mean an end to all broadcasts. Surely, rather than leaving it as a white elephant, some sponsorship could be found to maintain a basic service.

Rubbish attitude

the city centre should be a showcase for Edinburgh right now as tourists and locals alike flock to the Fringe.

So the council must redouble its efforts to ensure scenes like those snapped by visitors in the 
rubbish-strewn Grassmarket are not repeated.

But, first and foremost, isn’t it time people who come across full bins learned to walk a couple of hundred yards to the next one, instead of dumping their litter on the ground beside an overflowing one?