A senior Council official charged with delivering a scaled down sports centre at Meadowbank has angered Northfield/Willowbrae Community Council by failing to attend a meeting at which she was to be the guest speaker.
Stephanie-Anne Harris, Head of Sport at The City of Edinburgh Council, had been due to attend last night’s meeting at Northfield Community Centre. It was to be the second event in her ‘tour’ of local Community Councils but she called off at short notice.
This was the second missed deadline in as many days for Ms Harris because she also failed to provide a detailed technical appraisal for her employers to debate this week in the City Chambers. And she used this failure as the reason for cancelling her appearance in front of community councillors.
Community Council secretary Stewart Kerr explained he had received an e-mail from Ms Harris in which she said the full Council would now discuss her report in November and she offered to attend the next Community Council meeting instead.
“Unfortunately our next meeting won’t be until 17 December, which will be after Edinburgh Council has debated the report,” the secretary explained. “We will be writing to Ms Harris to complain about her non-attendance.”
The meeting offered its continued support to the campaign to save Meadowbank from closure. “We are willing to fight on to save all of Meadowbank, not just two thirds of it,” said Mr Kerr.
Northfield/Willowbrae is just one of many Community Councils in the Edinburgh area who have publicly objected to the Lib Dem/SNP coalition’s plan, which is also supported by the Tories, to downsize the popular sports facility and sell much of the site for housing.
“Only last month Ms Harris attended a Craigentinny/Meadowbank Community Council meeting and reiterated her report would be available on Edinburgh Council’s website seven days before it went before the Council meeting on 16 October,” said Save Meadowbank spokesman Kevin Connor.
“She has failed to meet a deadline to prepare a technical appraisal and used that failure as a reason for not keeping her word to meet with a community council. This is yet another sign of how the Council is failing to consult about sports provision for the nation’s capital city.”
Thousands have objected to Edinburgh Council’s plan, which will affect dozens of sports. A high-profile campaign to save the landmark site has attracted support from many local personalities, including triple Olympic medallist Chris Hoy who fronted a campaign video.