Comment: Some radical funding ideas are needed

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ON the list of priorities for the cash-strapped city council, restoring Edinburgh’s fountains to working order probably isn’t top of the list.

As we tell today, the water features in Hunter Square and Festival Square which many newer city residents may not even have realised are there are sitting redundant, long since switched off to save money.

The iconic Ross Fountain, meanwhile, has had well documented troubles with a rescue plan launched last month.

Part of that will include seeking private funding to carry out an ambitious revamp. And that really looks like being the best way forward across the city.

The political and financial will to carry out non-essential work has long since evaporated.

Might this mean we will have to live with the Virgin Money Fountain or the Irn Bru water feature?

Maybe. But that would be a small price to pay to improve our city streetscape.

Turning the tap back on at both Hunter and Festival Squares would be fantastic though clearly not as vital as getting the Princes Street Gardens landmark back up and running.

In these difficult financial times, some radical ideas are needed across a range of council services.

Fixing the fountains may not be a priority, it might be difficult and expensive, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a way.

A Big personality

IT’s great to see late Big Issue seller John White being honoured on the Meadows.

A plaque with his catchphrase “don’t be shy, give it a try” is being arranged for his former pitch after the money was raised through crowd-funding.

It’s a really nice gesture to remember someone who became an unlikely city celebrity.

The Meadows – and Edinburgh – is poorer without him.