News Release: Meadowbank campaign takes to the Royal Mile

Edinburgh at RiskThe fight to save Meadowbank Stadium and its facilities will be highlighted in the city centre this Saturday.
 
Save Meadowbank campaigners will join with other campaign groups as part of the Canongate Community Project’s “Edinburgh At Risk” day which includes films, workshops and discussions.
 
“Everyone is welcome to come along to see how campaigns such as ours are making a positive difference,” said Save Meadowbank spokeman Kevin Connor. “This will be a good opportunity to see an excellent video about Meadowbank and read our latest newsletter.”
 
Edinburgh At Risk (EAR) was founded last year. It is a non-political umbrealla organisation open to all who value the city’s communities, culture, history and future. Campaigns involved so far include Save Our Old Town, Save Meadowbank, Orroco Pier (South Queensferry), Porty Greenkeepers and Save Glenogle Baths.
 
Conservation architect James Simpson OBE picked up the same theme in the Spring 2008 edition of ICOMOS newsletter when he wrote: “Edinburgh is at greater risk than it has been since the 1960s.”
 
Event organiser Sally Richardson encourages people to attend what is sure to be an informative day. She said: “Have you got concerns about proposed developments and don’t know what to do? Come along to find out what’s going on in Edinburgh and its surrounding area. Meet others who have concerns and find what they are doing.”
 
The event, at 8 St Mary’s Street (just off the Royal Mile), is free and runs from 10:00 to 16:00 on Saturday 31 May.

News Release: Meadowbank campaigners should fight on says Mark Lazarowicz

new build options at MeadowbankLeith MP Mark Lazarowicz has urged campaigners to continue their fight to Save Meadowbank.

Writing in this month’s edition of Edinburgh Seven magazine, Mr Lazarowicz expressed his concern at Edinburgh Council’s plan to significantly downsize the facility, which he called “a crime”.

“I’m very worried that all we might end up with is a small sports centre with limited facilities,” he said.

“I wasn’t happy with the original plan to demolish Meadowbank, but at least under these plans there would have been both a community sports centre at Meadowbank AND a new national sports stadium for Edinburgh at Sighthill. Now the idea of the national sports centre has vanished BUT we’re still going to end up with a much smaller facility at the existing Meadowbank.

“Meantime the Council has spent more than £1 million on reports on studies which have got nowhere.

“Of course, this is a big betrayal by the Lib Dem and SNP Councillors who promised before the election that they would ‘Save Meadowbank’!

“What the local community needs to do is to make sure that we campaign as strongly as possible to make sure the new Meadowbank does have a decent range of high-class facilities, including both indoor sports halls and outdoor all-weather facilities for football and athletics.

“As well as its national role, Meadowbank is the only large sports facility for much of North and East Edinburgh – serving a community of more than 100,000 people.

“At a time when there is rightly so much emphasis on public health, it would be a crime to lose the wide range of facilities that we have at Meadowbank.”

Last week Edinburgh East MP Gavin Strang reiterated his opposition to the demolition of Meadowbank. Several community councils have also voiced strong objections.

“We welcome this continued support from local MPs,” said Save Meadowbank spokesman Kevin Connor.

News Release: Robin Harper opposed to “unnecessary rebuild” at Meadowbank

Robin Harper MSPRobin Harper has criticised Edinburgh Council’s latest plan for Meadowbank Stadium. He described their proposal to bulldoze the entire site and replace it with a far smaller sports centre as “an unnecessary rebuild”. As for their policy of selling much of the land for housing, he declared this “unsustainable and entirely unsupportable”.

The Lothian list MSP, who leads the Scottish Green Party, has pledged to do all he can to help campaigners save the iconic Edinburgh landmark.

“The sale of public land to developers without any reimbursement of the public purse, indeed with the negative impact of a reduction in public space and assets is unsustainable and entirely unsupportable,” said Mr Harper.

“I am entirely opposed to the piece-by-piece sale of public land to fund an uneccessary rebuild. The City should robustly demand sufficient funding for the Commonwealth Pool refurb, which is driven by Commonwealth Games need, and should not be so easily persuaded to part with its much loved iconic stadium to fund sports improvements.”

  • View indicative diagrams of Edinburgh Council’s latest plan for Meadowbank, showing the size and location of any future sports centre and the area that is to become a housing scheme.

 

News Release: Gavin Strang continues to support Meadowbank campaign

Edinburgh East MP Gavin Strang has pledged to continue his support of the Save Meadowbank campaign.

“I am still 100% in support of retaining Meadowbank, and opposed to any development whatsoever on any of the land,” said Mr Strang.

Last month Edinburgh Council approved a report that indicates about two thirds of sporting facilities will be lost to make way for a housing development. Three community councils have already objected to the plan.

“We welcome this continued support from the local MP,” said Save Meadowbank spokesman Kevin Connor.

  • View indicative diagrams included in the Edinburgh Council report showing the size and location of any future sports centre and the area that is to become a housing scheme.

News Release: Call for Government to keep its word on sports funding for capital

Royal Commonwealth PoolThe Scottish Government will not keep a commitment it gave to fund refurbishment of the Royal Commonwealth Pool, according to Stewart Maxwell, Minister for Communities and Sport.

He made this admission in Parliament last week. Green MSP Robin Harper had asked if the Government was prepared to keep the pledge that had been made in the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Candidate City File. Specifically the commitment for £28.8 million to be “100% Scottish Executive” funded.

Mr Maxwell claimed this was not a commitment, just a guarantee. He continued: “It was not intended that the City of Edinburgh Council would exercise the Scottish Government’s guarantee instead of finding the funding itself. That was fully understood by City of Edinburgh Council officials at that time.”

The sports minister stated that the 100% funding pledge was made due to “conflicting timetables for submitting the [Glasgow Commonwealth Games] bid and for sportscotland’s consideration of the funding application for the works at the Royal Commonwealth Pool”.

But Save Meadowbank spokesperson Kevin Connor said he was “baffled” by this explanation.

“The minister is clearly confused. SportScotland announced that the Commonwealth Pool application for £4 million had been successful back in July 2004, while the Glasgow bid document was completed three years later in May 2007.

“The Scottish Government were fully aware of SportScotland’s funding commitment to the Commonwealth Pool when they submitted the Glasgow bid, but presumably because of the proposal to use the pool for the diving competition, they chose to provide 100% of the funding.”

Campaigners want the Scottish Government to keep to its word and honour the funding pledge in the Commonwealth Games document.

“This is an important Government commitment for sport in Scotland’s capital city,” continued Mr Connor. “The Candidate City File is an official document, presented to all Commonwealth countries and fully supported by the Scottish Government. Now we find the Government wants to renege on a promise.

“Who could blame people for questioning the sincerity of the government’s commitment to the Commonwealth Games specifically, and to sport generally? By pulling the funding, Edinburgh Council will be forced to spend £32 million on the pool. By keeping its promise, £32 million would be freed up to provide an upgraded Meadowbank, rather than the current plan to radically downsize the facility and sell off much of the land for housing.”

The Canongate Project

Canongate ProjectThe Canongate Project is an inspiring range of community-based events taking place from May 3rd until June 14th in the heart of Edinburgh’s world-renowned Old Town.

As well as a range of seminars from community organisations such as: Local People Leading, Development Trusts Association Scotland, and The Cockburn Association, there will be a film festival, workshops and guided tours through the historic streets of Canongate.

The project will culminate in a street party on the 28th of June in East Market Street.

It’s a fantastic way of celebrating the life and people of Edinburgh’s historic Old Town and also an opportunity for residents from other areas of the city to join together, share ideas and find out how they can organise themselves to have a much bigger say in the decisions that affect their communities.

Find out what’s happening during the Canongate Project.
Find out more about the campaign to Save Our Old Town.