Leaders: ‘The biggest scandal to blight our city’

1
Have your say

It is not always easy to imagine what poverty looks like in modern Scotland.

Those of us who have enough to get by – and more – can struggle to understand what it really 
means.

In Sighthill, for example, more than a third of children are living in poverty, yet you can walk the streets without seeing obvious signs of neglect.

So what is life like for those thousands of kids living below the breadline in the Capital?

Modern poverty can take many shapes. It can mean shivering in sub-zero temperatures on the way to school because you don’t have a proper winter coat, or going to bed hungry because there is not enough decent food to go round.

The shocking result of that often invisible neglect is that a child born in the poorest city neighbourhood can expect to die 11 years earlier than one born in the most affluent area.

Edinburgh University’s Professor Richard Williams has sparked a major debate this week about whether or not Edinburgh can still rightly claim to be a great 
city.

The argument has focused on the potholed roads, the stalled regeneration of the Waterfront, the “shabby” appearance of Stockbridge and the trams.

There has been little mention of the biggest scandal to blight modern Edinburgh – child poverty and the yawning inequality between rich and poor.

There is no easy answer to tackling this age old problem, although the benefit cuts being forced through by the UK coalition government seem certain to make the situation worse.

Redoubling our efforts, and making sure child poverty is at the top of the agenda whenever we talk about Edinburgh’s future, is the only solution.

Worth the wait

It’s a story to wheel out the next time you get nagged about clearing out your old junk.

A car bought in 1980 for £2800 is about to be auctioned off for more than 12 times that.

You wonder how many times the owner was urged to trade it in, only to insist “it will be worth something one day”.

Of course, it helps that it has been painstakingly preserved as a piece of motoring history, even down to keeping the original tyres.

Perhaps the same could not be said of those Bay City Roller LPs from the same era.