‘Measures are there to keep children safe’

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THEY’RE words to send a chill down the spine of hundreds of school-run mums and dads – watch out, there’s a parking attendant about.

Soon the warning will be heard outside school gates across the Capital, thanks to the council’s latest road safety drive.

The so-called parking meanies are to be handed responsibility for enforcing the rules by dishing out £60 on-the-spot fines.

It means yet another expansion for the parking attendants’ ever-growing empire, but for once a change will be broadly welcomed.

Outside many schools on a daily basis, dozens of parents double-park or brazenly sit their cars on zig-zag lines designed to keep the roadside clear. The reasons for this are, to a point, understandable. For busy parents, juggling work pressures with getting children to and from school can be a challenge, especially when parking spaces are at a premium.

But these parking restrictions are there for the best possible reason – to keep children safe. And they also minimise disruption to the put-upon residents who live close to schools.

Parking attendants have to develop a thick skin to do their job, but we suspect they may be in for a novel experience when they visit schools in the coming weeks. They might not be quite welcomed with three cheers, but if they look around they will surely see many nods of approval as they start dishing out fines.

Money talks

Bin men and environmental wardens festooned with logos? Roundabouts sponsored? Council vehicles sporting corporate colours? This could be the future under radical plans by Edinburgh City Council to increase revenue. The authority believes it can raise hundreds of thousands a year by offering to turn some staff into walking billboards.

There is bound to be strong opposition but a couple of points should be considered.

Firstly, will the public become confused? Unlikely. Consumers are bombarded with thousands of advertising messages daily and are already sophisticated at filtering out what’s important.

Secondly, the reality is that the council is desperately short of money and imaginative thinking is required to bring in new revenue. Would we rather see key services cut or have them continue as a result of sponsorship?

While careful consideration needs to be given to appropriate partnerships, this is an idea that should be taken forward.