‘The council 
is not always to blame’

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THE STATE of Edinburgh’s roads and the backlog to repair them is a constant gripe among motorists.

The city council has to field most of the flak and ire from drivers, perhaps not surprisingly.

But while the Evening News will never shy away from holding our city leaders to account over mounting potholes or endless roadworks, they are not always to blame.

As we report today utility companies are working – or not – through a huge backlog of repairs to cracks, manhole covers, and faulty fire hydrants on the Capital’s roads and pavements.

The city council is largely powerless to get these particular issues sorted, and has the ability to levy fines of just hundreds of pounds on the companies responsible.

That is clearly meaningless to multi-million pound firms.

Motorists and pedestrians, of course, do not distinguish who is to blame for a particular pothole or missing manhole cover.

Quite rightly, taxpayers just want the road or the pavement to be fixed, which means that sooner or later the problem will end up back at the council’s door.

City transport leader Lesley Hinds knows that and has pledged today to take the issue up with the new roadworks commissioner to seek a change in the law which would enable new powers to crack down on firms.

We fully support her efforts.

Utility firms which are adding to Edinburgh’s road nightmare need to be forced into action and if necessary hit where it hurts – in the 

A special present

IT is impossible not to be moved by the story of little Anna Penman today.

At the age of just four she has already had to battle both leukaemia and spinal muscular atrophy.

But battle she has and along the way she has become a real inspiration to all who know her.

Her story is now becoming known more widely, with the campaign to buy her a specialist wheelchair which will allow her to play with her friends.

The generosity shown so far has been overwhelming, with her family hoping they might even raise enough for other specialist equipment to make Anna’s life as easy as possible.

Well done to all who have supported her so far and for others who want to donate, the details can be found on pages 6-7 today.

You can be sure it will be one Christmas present which will be truly appreciated.