Edinburgh's Spaces for People schemes set to be extended for months (and I could say more but I'd get into trouble) – John McLellan

Councillors must follow strict rules about confidentiality, otherwise we have our collars felt by the Standards Commission and can be drummed out the Brownies for breaches.

Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 12:30 pm
Some parts of the Spaces for People scheme, such as this planter on Barberton Mains Wynd, have proved to be controversial (Picture: SWNS.com)

We receive briefings and advance copies of papers so we are prepared, and spilling the beans before the information becomes public would just end the briefings.

This week were given a presentation about the future plans for the controversial Spaces for People scheme to reduce road space for cars and improve “active travel” facilities, and, going by the rules, I wasn’t going to mention it today.

But then I read transport convener Lesley MacInnes’s column yesterday in which she revealed some detail of the new approach.

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“We have no intention of pushing through any permanent schemes under the cover of Spaces for People,” she wrote.

Fair enough, but then she added: “That’s why we would be using Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders to implement any longer-term changes, meaning we can continue to involve local people in their operation and evolution once in place.”

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This is the means by which the council can extend the schemes for months to come, but I’m not allowed to tell you any more in case I get a visit from the Standards fuzz.

I have no problem with her letting readers know what is being actively prepared by the officers, but the rules should apply consistently across opposition and administration. But maybe the Evening News will find out all about it and let you know what’s in store? Council confidentiality doesn’t apply to journalists.

John McLellan is a Conservative councillor for Craigentinny/Duddingston

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