Land of the Brae

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Open letter to Andrew Burns, leader of the City of Edinburgh Council from Save the Brae (and Sheila Gilmore MP).

Last week Sheila Gilmore demanded a cash pledge for Edinburgh. She called on the Scottish Government to invest in a new school for Craigmillar – and on council chiefs to withdraw plans to close Castlebrae Community High.

In reply, Councillor Paul Godzik said: “No thanks, we won’t need that money for eight more years, thank you very much.” Save the Brae – and Sheila – are dumbfounded. Is the council telling the government it doesn’t want any of Osborne’s hand-out? This could solve 
Edinburgh’s housing crisis and unlock land for 2,600 homes.

We want Cllr Burns to say: “Mr Salmond, a new school will not only mean that 200 kids can sleep happy at night, it will mean that all Craigmillar families will have an opportunity to go local.

“A £16 million school for Craigmillar town centre will be full in no time; we have the plans, so it’s shovel-ready. It’ll be a real alternative to Holyrood.

“It will boost land values and draw in developers, unlocking the land that’s sat here empty for 12 years. Persimmon will build their 400 new family homes in New Greendykes with confidence, ready for the Sick Kids staff in 2017, because the new road to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary opens next month. We can build a new school today, re-build a community tomorrow and solve the capital’s housing shortage the day after.”

But Cllr Burns, you can only ask for the cash if you end the school consultation at the Education Committee held today (11 December). Time is short. The stakes are high. If you miss this chance, the next education committee will not be until March, by which time the extra £600m will have gone elsewhere.

Kev Findlay

Save the Brae