Euan McGrory: City must listen to community concerns on schools and pitches

Under council plans Currie Community High School would be amalgamated with Wester Hailes Education Centre to form a new South West Edinburgh High School. Picture: TSPL
Under council plans Currie Community High School would be amalgamated with Wester Hailes Education Centre to form a new South West Edinburgh High School. Picture: TSPL
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EDINBURGH’S growing pains as the city expands to accommodate an ever increasing population are a well-worn subject.

Everyone knows how much our roads, schools, affordable housing stock and GP surgeries are struggling to keep pace with the mushrooming demands being put upon them. Doing nothing is a recipe for disaster - leading to ever more crowded schools, unaffordable housing and hard to get doctors’ appointments.

The city needs more homes and new schools in order to proect and enhance the high quality of life that most of us enjoy. But that is not all that neighbourhoods need in order to thrive. They need good local facilities where people can gather for night classes and pursue hobbies. In order to live, and teach our children, healthy lifestyles, we need places to play sport and safe routes to school.

The plans for a new “super high school” in the west of the city and to build homes on the site of five-a-side football pitches in Portobello are two stark examples of the challenges. The status quo is not an option, but there are huge concerns about both proposals. Working with the residents to find better solutions will be stern tests for the city’s credentials as a listening council.