Fiona Duff: It’s enough to give you the shivers

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I sometimes wonder if the people who make up Edinburgh City Council actually live in this fine city. When I ask newcomers to the Capital why they have moved, I usually jokily ask if it was for the weather. On Tuesday this week I was so cold that I took a hot water bottle to bed. In the middle of (not so) flaming August!

Last year the weather was good during this month. I remember walking past all the restaurant outposts on George Street and thinking how great it was to have so much outdoor space where it was possible to have lunch and enjoy the sunshine.

The other day I saw a sign which informed me that these al fresco eateries were going to be continuing until September 2015. I mean, who in their right mind wants to have lunch in the snow or freezing wind with only a little bit of tarpaulin between them and the elements? Heck, not even people who live in southern Europe would think it normal to offer outdoor eating 12 months of the year, so why do it in a country which is renowned for its soggy climate?

The other point is that this now means for the next 52 weeks George Street is going to be chaos – at one end you can drive westwards and at the other it is eastwards.

Someone out there must know how much the council has wasted on hair-brained traffic schemes in the past decade. Remember the bollards shutting off one end of Albany Street which lead to drivers using a rat run along a little mews? Needless to say the bollards were swiftly removed, but who pays for all that work? The answer, my friend, is you and me.

I’ve long thought that if we council taxpayers all got together and organised a peaceful protest along the lines of simply not handing over our money, then those who happily waste our hard-earned dosh with such reckless abandon might sit up and take notice. This time I think I might actually try and organise such a campaign, and if it doesn’t work I’ll just carry on moaning.