News Release: Head of sport given tough time at Community Council meeting

The senior council official who drafted the current plan to downsize Meadowbank was given a tough time at last night’s Community Council meeting in Craigentinny.

Stephanie-Anne Harris, who is the City of Edinburgh council’s head of sport, was speaking at Craigentinny/Meadowbank Community Council. She outlined Edinburgh Council’s current plan and said she would also be speaking with other Community Councils who had objected to it. She explained that her report on the future of Meadowbank was one of a number of related reports that are due to be published on the Council website on 9 October and debated the following week.

However she was met with a series of objections from both sporting groups and local residents, none of whom agreed with what was proposed. Chairman Giacomo Modica said: “I’d like you to talk to all other Community Councils, not just those who have publicly objected, because many others also share the same view.

“I would also like the wider community to be more involved. We are being offered less sport facilities for an ever increasing population. We are prepared to wait until the resouces are there to rebuild the whole of Meadowbank.”

And he pleaded with the head of sport: “We don’t want you to sell the land. Don’t reduce the land because you won’t be able to get it back.”

Two councillors were present to hear the discussion. Stefan Tymkewycz said he had voted for the plan when it had been debated last March but Labour councillor Ewan Aitken said he had voted against it and would continue to oppose any plan that reduced facilities.

Several speakers said the Council had its priorities wrong. Save Meadowbank spokesman Kevin Connor commented: “The current plan is based entirely on the cost of providing a new build facility at Meadowbank funded by selling almost half the site for housing. The head of sport shouldn’t be stating a case that involves the building of new homes to fund a significant reduction of facilities. She should be finding out what sporting facilities are required and exploring ways of getting the funds. If the Council can’t afford it she should be making a strong case for more central government money, as we are doing in our petition on the Parliament website.”

The petition to ask the Scottish Government to provide more funding for national facilities is also available on the http://www.savemeadowbank.org website.

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