Edinburgh Council’s a benevolent dictatorship, not the Taliban

Please explain why the City Centre Transformation plan won’t have a negative impact on businesses, buses and residents, asks Kevin Buckle

Saturday, 28th September 2019, 6:00 am
Meursaults album Crow Hill was an obvious choice for a recommendation

Very much like those who review the papers trying not to mention Brexit I was determined this week not to mention the City Centre Transformation plan but then just when it seemed there was nothing more to say John McLellan caused more than a little outrage in his News column with his claim that the Transport Taliban were in charge at Edinburgh Council.

Clearly referencing a terrorist organisation was not the best comparison when possibly a benevolent dictatorship would be a better one. What annoys many, including myself, is the constant claiming that there is great support for change when so few people actually responded to the consultation even if that number of less than one per cent was more than normally reply.

After recent columns on this subject my social media timeline has been full of people saying that if folk hadn’t taken part they had lost their right to complain in the future. Clearly this is not right and would leave future plans in the hands of a self-elected cabal of 3000 people.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Lesley Macinnes, the Transport and Environment convener, taking a leaf out of Donald Trump’s book appears to have doubled down on this by claiming those who didn’t take part in the consultation did so because they were happy with the suggestion of major upheaval and changes.

I am not the only one who sees much merit in the transformation plans and where fault is found is in the lack of explanation of how this will not have a substantial negative impact on residents, businesses and the buses to name just three of the concerned parties as well as there being grave doubts on how these plans will be delivered and paid for.

Given the Athenian Peisistratos is considered the first benevolent dictator maybe the Athens of the North needs a benevolent dictator to get these plans through but that is how it should be presented, not as the will of the people.

Listen up

Briefly harked back to earlier times on Thursday in the shop. A couple from Seattle wanted me to recommend an album not easily found in the States. I said the album of the year so far came from Dublin band Fontaines DC but I was sure it was out in the States. I put it on and they were happy to buy it anyway.

They really wanted something Scottish on vinyl with the same criteria. Meursault’s album Crow Hill was an obvious choice and they took it without even hearing it. Very pleased with their purchases it really did take me back to the “old days” when this sort of thing occurred on a daily basis.

You’ve got mail

Before I moved into Waverley Mall I was regularly asked for the nearest post office when I was in the station or on Princes Street. Now of course Avalanche is next to the post office and amazingly I still get asked!

Being a major post office it deals with everything from passports and licences to currency exchange and the posting and collecting of mail. Clearly a major campaign is needed that will reach both locals and visitors.

In an ironic twist after 5.30pm when the post office closes there is no post box outside and I have to send those looking to post a letter down to the station which does have one.