Leader: ‘There are no winners out of this mess’

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THE battle to build a new Portobello High School has turned into a very sorry saga indeed.

We are six-and-a-half years on from the day the council first announced its building plans, yet to date nothing positive has been achieved.

Out of this mess, there have been no winners – only losers.

The Portobello Park Action Group? They may have got the result they wanted in court yesterday, but have endured great expense and years of rancour with their neighbours to get there.

The many parents who have campaigned hard for a new school will be bitterly disappointed, while the council must face some searching questions over their handling of the affair.

But the biggest losers – and the only ones who really matter now – are the 1400 pupils of Portobello High and the hundreds of youngsters who will follow them.

All that is important now is finding a way to build the new school that they so desperately need.

That might yet prove to be on Portobello Park, but given yesterday’s unequivocal ruling at the Court of Session, the odds against that look to be stacked mighty high.

The vast majority of parents do not care where the school is built, they only latched on to the park as the most viable option.

The pressure is now on Edinburgh City Council to come up with a way of delivering the “fit for purpose” school that is so desperately needed.

Given the options now available, that won’t be easy, but the parents of Portobello will quite rightly demand nothing less.

Applaud MoD move

FULL marks to the MoD which has reacted to the campaign to save a network of trenches at Dreghorn Woods.

Officials have now pledged to look into securing funds to carry out a full survey to assess the condition of the Colinton site and its historical and archaeological significance.

The Evening News is supporting a campaign to save the trenches because we cannot forget the importance of the Great War and its effect on our history. The Second World War tends to dominate our historical imagination, but the earlier conflict – one of the most devastatingly destructive episodes in human history – created much of the modern world.

For young people whose knowledge of this conflict is vague, an educational resource at Dreghorn Woods would be an invaluable asset for Edinburgh and Scotland. Let’s hope the MoD’s actions are the first step to protecting this key site.