Edinburgh Council just keeps ignoring public opinion over issues like bin hubs, Spaces for People and controlled parking zones – John McLellan

Tragic events around the world often put local gripes about council services into stark perspective, but comparisons which lead to a shrug of the shoulders and stoic acceptance if things go wrong are as pointless as they are unhelpful.

Thursday, 3rd March 2022, 12:30 pm
Bin hubs have proved controversial in some parts of Edinburgh
Bin hubs have proved controversial in some parts of Edinburgh

The right of people to be listened to and their views respected when their surroundings are about to change is surely a basic principle of democratic administration yet, in too many Edinburgh locations, the roll-out of the new communal bin hubs is turning that on its head.

Complaints in the New Town and Piershill have been well-documented and now that’s spreading to Abbeyhill where local people feel their views have not been properly taken into account over where these new hubs are being sited, causing more inconvenience than is necessary for no good reason.

It is a re-run of the impasse encountered by so many communities over the imposition of the Spaces for People road restrictions, where the views of a minority of campaigners took precedence over the wishes of local people directly affected and still do, as many schemes are set to be maintained for a further 18 months under “experimental” orders designed to get people used to the changes.

The same determination is forcing through the extension of new controlled parking zones where demand is currently low, but car-owning residents will have to pay for permits to park in a reduced number of spaces.

It’s not asking a lot to expect a local authority to respond positively to what local people want, but it seems extraordinarily difficult for Edinburgh Council. And costly and time consuming.

John McLellan is a Conservative councillor for Craigentinny/Duddingston

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