'It's disgusting when buildings are valued more highly than lives' - Your views online

Spiky railings are to be installed to deter the homeless from sleeping rough at a building of “national importance”. Edinburgh Council has granted permission to the National Records of Scotland to fit railings at its A-listed West Register House in Charlotte Square. We asked readers their views.

By Readers' comments
Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 7:00 am
Railings are to be installed at West Register House in Charlotte Square
Railings are to be installed at West Register House in Charlotte Square

Caroline Macdonald: The chance to get shelter – a place to stay dry at night – will be making this building popular for rough sleepers so the solution may be to put shelters up around Edinburgh for homeless people. I think we should respect the fact that some homeless people don’t want houses and a place to live like most of us but they would like a dry shelter and a toilet to use. So instead of putting fences and railings up could we not care for them more and be kind.

Sheila Wilson: Says it all when winter is fast approaching and money is wasted on this nonsense when it could used to actually help the homeless.

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Jenny Tucker Casson: It’s pretty disgusting when buildings are valued more highly than human lives.

Paul Kierley: I remember when the art galleries on Princes Street put up rails to stop people using them as a public toilet as the local police couldn't be bothered doing anything. More likely that's the same here.

Ian Strang: The council provides emergency accommodation and there are plenty of charities out there. People need to take responsibility for their own lives.

Ross A Brown: Here we are in 2021 with so much attention being drawn to hate speech and protected characteristics. We’re asked to be mindful of others and the language you use in order to avoid causing offence. Yet it's OK for the council to do something worse and outright dehumanise a whole group of people without actually doing anything positive to help them. That must only be acceptable because it benefits a more fortunate section of society as they won't have to see other people's unfortunate reality.

Ciorstaidh McIntosh: I was all set to be irate about this but you read the whole story and people have been defecating in the alcoves and homeless people have had sleeping bags set on fire. The latter presents a real risk to an important building containing important records and I can totally understand that concern. It’s not as simple as homeless people equals bad (though the council really needs to do better in this regard).

Sophie Thomson: Anti-homeless archeticure is disgusting – going out your way to make their quality of life even worse when they can’t even sit down somewhere that’s not the ground. It makes their lives even more demoralising. Put the money to improving quality of life and housing people instead of this and over-the-top festivals in the city centre.

James Brydon:We can’t have Queen Nicola looking out the window of Bute House and seeing poor people.

Eric Christison: As I understand it there are enough beds in Edinburgh for everyone. I believe that is a statutory obligation for every council.

Kirsty Welsh: Some of these beds are within hostels where many homeless folk feel more at risk than they do sleeping on the streets. That speaks volumes.

Jaime Neal: Instead of blocking off shelter for homeless people find them somewhere. Maybe ask student accommodation developers to dedicate a floor for every tower they build for the homeless.

Angela Harley: In a civilised society nobody should be homeless. It’s appalling.

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