THE decision not to pursue an idea to turn the Meadows into a campsite is a good one which won’t just be welcomed by those vociferous locals who dedicate much of their time to protecting the area.
It simply makes no sense to turn one of the city’s most popular leisure areas into a temporary low-cost home for those who can’t afford or can’t find more appropriate accommodation during the festivals.
If it did happen, the Meadows would become a no-go area for up to a month for those local council tax-payers who like to cycle, play or simply wander there.
In fact, it makes so little sense that there have to be serious doubts that the idea was ever really a goer.
It emerged from an “Ideas Challenge” and even if one of the judges who selected it as the winner was the council chief executive, it was surely always a theoretical exercise.
Certainly, council leader Jenny Dawe has now moved to nip the idea in the bud, and that is to be welcomed.
It does beg the question, though, of which other parts of the city might now be looked at as potential sites for a campsite instead.
A grassy area at the Jack Kane Centre was used for participants in the Make Poverty History march, and Niddrie is being suggested as a possibility, given the efficient bus service into town.
In the same way that it was right to seek new concepts through the Ideas Challenge, it is fine for minds now to turn to possible alternate campsites around the city.
After all, there is undoubted pressure on places to stay in August and a tent village would widen access to our city and to the festivals.
However, people living around ALL of the city’s green areas are due the same consideration as those near the Meadows. In many cases, they live where they do because they like to be near a park.
They must also be allowed a say on whether or not hundreds of campers are allowed to take them over for many weeks – whatever area they live in.
Best wishes, John
Our best wishes go to former city MP John Barrett, who has chosen to speak out about his diagnosis with bowel cancer.
Mr Barrett feels by highlighting his own illness he can encourage more people in the Lothians to use the simple home testing kit, as he did, and ensure the best possible chance of beating this ruthless disease.
The message is clear: put embarrassment aside – this simple test could save your life.