A new support network has been formed by Edinburgh campaign groups with the full support of a former top government adviser who is highly critical of the current Labour administration.
“Edinburgh At Risk (EAR) is a non-political umbrella organisation open to all who value the city’s culture, history and future,” said spokesperson Kevin Ferguson. “It is concerned at the many present and planned sales of public land and facilities and wishes full recognition of Edinburgh’s Common Good.”
EAR has been founded by a number of on-going campaigns including
Sighthill Says No
A launch video showing many of the campaigns is available on You Tube.
EAR supporters include a former government adviser who has criticised the Labour party in Edinburgh for representing the interests of developers instead of their constituents. Sir Bernard Crick, who worked with David Blunkett at the Home Office, is appalled at the way the local council has repeatedly decided to “sell off the family silver” for a quick gain and without proper consideration of the long-term consequences.
An honorary fellow at Edinburgh University, Sir Bernard thinks councillors have allowed themselves to get too close to developers. He said: “As a life-long member of the Labour Party and former government adviser on citizenship, I am deeply embarrassed, indeed angry, at how close leading Edinburgh Labour councillors have got to the developers all over the city.
“Of course the council is desperate not to have to raise council tax, but the answer cannot be to sell off the family silver. This is irreversible sale, not even a pawnshop.”
EAR will share advice and information between groups and coordinate demands for a much closer and earlier consultation with residents on proposed developments.
EAR is planning a series of initiatives to raise awareness, stimulate debate and highlight democratic abuse. Its first act has been to question all candidates in the forthcoming council elections about their stance on a range of issues including, housing, Common Good, planning and the retention of publicly owned green and leisure spaces. The results will be published before polling day.