‘We all hope Lesley can get it sorted’

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TRYING to complain or even query work taking place in your street can often lead you on a frustrating road to nowhere.

You may be passed from pillar to post so many times that you are left wondering if it wouldn’t be quicker to do the job yourself.

So today’s news that the city council is to set up a dedicated roadworks hotline is a move which will be welcomed across the city.

We wish new transport leader Lesley Hinds well in trying to tackle an issue which has repeatedly stumped her predecessors and left the public at large feeling powerless.

Too often, planned roadworks by utility companies either run on with no explanation, are completed in a substandard fashion or, even worse, are seemingly abandoned with no sign of work being completed.

The city council has the power to keep these firms in check but very often, as Cllr Hinds discovered herself when she reported a problem, may be blissfully unaware of the chaos unfolding in a particular area.

This new service will give the man on the congested street the power to force change by acting as the eyes and ears for the city council enforcers.

They can then act quickly to “get it sorted” – and if they do not there is a popular Evening News column which will ensure they do.

Of course highlighting and fixing the problems when they emerge is only part of the battle, and there must be the threat of tough penalties for those firms which are consistently failing. That means hitting them where it hurts, in the pocket.

Those digging up Edinburgh roads should be left in no doubt today, we are watching you.

Early release failure

if Keir Rodger had served anything like his full sentence he would still be behind bars today.

Instead he was released early from prison following his part in the attack on tragic takeaway driver Simon San and went on a spree of stealing cars and breaking into houses before leading police on a high-speed car chase through the city’s streets.

This would be of deep concern even if it was an isolated case, but Rodger is one of 35,000 criminals who have been freed early since the SNP came to power in 2007, on the back of a promise to end early release.

The Scottish Government says it is making progress, cutting by a third the number of offenders released early each year, but that is not enough.

Public trust in the justice system is paramount – and it has been badly dented by the seemingly endless string of cases like these.

The Government will have to do more if it is to rebuild that trust.