Readers' Best Comments

There's praise for our begging reporter, fury over axing cheap leisure prices and thoughts on a tribute to Bill McLaren

Evening News reporter Mark McLaughlin spent two hours posing as a beggar on the city streets to see if residents are too tolerant.

A very interesting and thought-provoking article.

Sarah B

I am surprised and pleased that a council employee stopped and offered help with getting a house.

Xena – Warrior Princess

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It would help genuine homeless people if the police prosecuted the organised begging rings. I stopped giving out loose change after seeing a white van full of beggars on Leith Walk. The driver picked one out, gave him a briefing and then sped off to drop off the rest.

Reality Cheque

Well done Evening News – exactly what was needed. And well done especially to the council worker who offered help with housing – actually very moving to know. Thank you.

Duncan in Edinburgh

If Mark wasn't "moved on" by regular beggars then I suspect he was sitting in non-lucrative areas which would explain his paltry takings. There is a "pecking order" for the best pitches.


Time Edinburgh adopted Manchester's "no begging" rule. It's getting beyond a joke.


Off-peak prices have been scrapped by Edinburgh Leisure to avoid confusion.

Why do council servants have to be so evasive and deceitful.What they really mean is that they are prepared to let leisure facilities go unused during quiet periods. Once this plan is realised and bookings fall off, facilities can be closed.

Steven P

I don't object to removing the off-peak prices. It's the peak prices that are too high. It costs 3.90 for an adult to use the swimming pool. In Glasgow it's 2.20 I believe and in other cities 3 or less. I would like Edinburgh Leisure to do some PR on why they need to charge so much more than everyone else.


Gym memberships generally have a price structure in place, so an off-peak membership is cheaper. The fact this is standard practice means there's a general awareness amongst gym users that they can expect a price differential, so either Edinburgh Leisure are saying their customers lack awareness or they're making things up.

digestive biscuits V

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Finally, plans for a memorial to Bill McLaren received a mixed response.

Let's name a stand at Murrayfield after him. That would mean more to rugby than any statue. And why not a special tournament for the McLaren Cup?


No no no, don't do anything. Bill himself would have been mortified to have a permanent memorial at Murrayfield. As he would have said himself, he didn't play for Scotland. He was a commentator. By all means let Hawick plant a statue in the main street. How typical of the city fathers to muscle in on the sentimentality boom.