Comment: Successful Christmas event hugely important

Have your say

There is little doubt that Edinburgh’s Christmas has been battered by more than high winds in recent days. The row over the cost of rides including the Big Wheel and the ice rink (as well as the price of food and drink) was followed by the revelation that organisers had hidden negative comments from the public on their Facebook page.

Then, on Friday evening, the back of a chair on the 200ft-high Star Flyer fell from the ride and slammed to the ground, narrowly missing hundreds of revellers below.

Despite these failures, we must remember a successful Christmas festival is hugely important for Edinburgh city centre. While questions will remain in the public’s mind about the safety of the Star Flyer, the wider event must go on.

However, much of the public criticism is now being directed at the city council. While the council is the key funding partner, and appointed Underbelly to run the event, it can hardly be held directly accountable for the problems so far. But what the local authority must do now is take greater control. It can see things are going wrong and it’s time to protect its investment and ensure that the remainder of the Christmas period is safe and trouble-free.

Local priorities

It is welcome news that the police are beginning to listen to what many people, including this newspaper, have been saying about the importance of local needs and priorities.

Figures show clearly that the number of housebreakings solved has plummeted since the single force was formed in April.

Police chiefs now appear to recognise disbanding the specialist teams was a mistake and a new elite squad has been formed.

There has also been a change of heart on three of the ten police counters scheduled for closure. Now we need to make sure the rest are saved too.