‘Homeowners must take more responsibility’
No-one could possibly argue against the assertion that Edinburgh needs a clean break from its discredited statutory repairs scheme.
The existing system has been found to fail on almost every level. Home owners have been consistently let down by the cost of work routinely soaring, trust in the council has been badly shaken by the uncovering of alleged corruption within the service and cutbacks left the team apparently unable to carry out all the repair work needed to protect the public from the risk of debris falling from buildings.
The extent to which public confidence has been damaged by this scandal makes it almost inevitable that the existing system is scrapped.
In coming up with a new one, it makes sense for home owners to take on more responsibility – that is, after all, what happens in every other Scottish city.
But we must not forget the reason why the council became so involved in organising so much of this work in the first place.
The age and condition of many buildings in the Capital means it has greater maintenance problems than other cities.
For that reason alone it is important that the city keeps a properly resourced emergency repair team.
It is right that the make-up of the rest of the system is now subject to a wide-ranging debate involving both the public and experts both from Edinburgh and further afield.
We have to get this right, the cost of failing to do so is far too high.
This year, Scottish football is supposed to be all about fan power.
It was the voice of supporters from non-Old Firm teams – and a threatened boycott of their clubs’ games – that ensured Rangers were kicked out of the Premier League.
Now clubs like Hearts and Hibs are relying on supporters turning out in greater numbers to make up the income they will lose from Rangers playing in a different division.
So the fact that season ticket sales are believed to be down at both clubs on this stage last season is not encouraging.
There are, of course, many other attractions vying for a share of fans’ time and money these days. It means the clubs have to work ever harder to ensure they offer good entertainment and value for money.
The bottom line, though, is that the supporters will ultimately get the team that they deserve. Hibs and Hearts will only flourish if fans turn out in sufficient numbers to pay to watch them play.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 26 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 8 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: South