'Total waste of time' - Readers react to Princes Street barrier review

Princes Street Gardens. Picture: Shutterstock
Princes Street Gardens. Picture: Shutterstock
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Edinburgh Evening News readers have voiced their concerns after the city council was urged to explain a decision to put up barriers around Princes Street Gardens during the festival

Barriers to halt the public from having free views of the Summer Sessions concerts at the Ross Bandstand caused an uproar on social media earlier this month. The local authority came under fire for blocking views of the Bandstand and the Castle behind it with the 10ft-high hoardings.

The boards were not fully removed, despite a pledge by council leader Adam McVey to have them taken down.

Now, Conservative councillor Joanna Mowat, convener of the local authority's Governance, Risk and Best Value (GRBV) Committee, has asked for an examination of how the decision was made in the first place to let these events take place in the middle of the gardens during the festival. In a motion to the committee, she asked for a report to clarify how these decisions will be taken in the future.

READ MORE: Princes Street Gardens barriers row during Festival sparks park usage review

Pauline Morgan welcomed the review, adding: "Good, explain please. Down right liberty when it's the locals who pay council tax."

Sean Findlay, said members of the public should not have to pay to enter a public space regardless of whether a show is on or not.

Another reader, Nathan Jessop, said in response: "Which is why they (the council) are so keen to hand over the park's management to private enterprise. Once it's out of public hands, Edinburgh people can wave bye bye to their leisure space."

But Richard Graham responded: "Gardens will never go private, the rest maybe."

In November, the council's culture and communities committee will discuss a report by officers called Managing the Festival City, which will include lessons to be learned from this year's events, including the issues at Princes Street Gardens.

Labour councillor Gordon Munro also backed the call for information about the decision-making process and requested the whole operation of Princes Street Gardens during August is investigated.

Another reader, Michelle Finlay, said: "People just stood on the benches anyway. Total waste of time and effort putting them up, was horrible."

And Jock Burns posed the question: "Ask them how much the boards cost and who paid for them....hope it's not my council tax."

Jane Dickson said: "Dam Disgrace."