‘Time will tell whether it is 
a wise move’

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Have your say

One of the most popular moves by city authorities in recent years has been the introduction of free parking “holidays” in a bid to attract extra visitors.

Traders loved it because it has brought more people into the city centre to spend money, and shoppers have gone away happy feeling they have got a bargain. The logic is simple and it has proved a success.

East Lothian is to embark in the opposite direction by introducing parking charges for the first time at all its beach car parks. In doing so, it will become the first local authority in Scotland to routinely charge visitors for parking along the coast.

Is it the only way for the cash-strapped local authority to raise the money it needs to keep seaside facilities up to scratch, as the Labour-led local authority insists? Or will it turn out to be a huge own goal by putting people off visiting our beautiful seaside resorts in the first place?

This newspaper has made clear its view that this is a backward step.

The reality is that now only time will tell whether or not it was wise.

But by apparently dismissing the views of people who live outside East Lothian, some councillors
appear to have missed the point.

Of course, the opinions of the council taxpayers of East Lothian should be at the front of their minds in taking such a momentous
decision.

However, the impact this will have on the local economy rests predominantly on the way visitors from outwith the immediate area – from Edinburgh, Midlothian and further afield – respond.

We just have to hope that they will continue to visit in as great numbers once this “tourist tax” is in place.

Great example

It’s great to see Hearts and Hibs stars getting into the Christmas spirit and giving something back to the 
community.

The Tynecastle players serving up turkey to the homeless and their Easter Road counterparts visiting the Sick Kids are examples of exactly what our footballers should be doing.

Never mind their huge wages and the trappings of fame, they are role models for thousands of youngsters across Edinburgh and being involved in projects such as these is vital.

Well done to both sides of the Capital’s football divide for spreading a little festive cheer.

Giving up a few hours after training might not seem like much of a sacrifice but it was surely a day no-one at Streetwork or the hospital will forget.