Edinburgh Leisure’s suggestion that its HQ be built on land currently occupied by dozens of trees, some of which are extremely rare, was never scrutinised or approved by Councillors, according to documents released under a Freedom of Information (FOI) request.
Edinburgh Council was asked to provide all reports, documents and correspondence relating to the decision to headquarter Edinburgh Leisure on the site currently occupied by Meadowbank Stadium. Its response confirmed the idea was suggested by Edinburgh Leisure within a business case (which was not included within the response) after which they met with Edinburgh Council’s Finance department who produced an eight line spreadsheet. Edinburgh Council holds no other document from this meeting. No communication on the subject is held by the Council and the only report that mentions the HQ facility is a report to the Finance Committee in October 2018.
Edinburgh Council approved on 29 June 2018 the plan to build headquarter facilities for Edinburgh Leisure at Meadowbank.
“This means Edinburgh Council approved a suggestion from a private company that involved destroying rare trees and replacing them with office space without even one single piece of correspondence on the subject and without the suggestion being scrutinised or voted upon by any Councillor,” said Save Meadowbank spokesperson Heather Peacock.
“And the Council’s Finance department justified it based upon an eight line spreadsheet with no note, minute or any other document ever being produced or retained.
“Dozens of healthy, mature trees – some of which are extremely rare – will now be killed for the sake of this Edinburgh Leisure vanity project which will deliver a far smaller sports facility which loses over 40% of the facilities plus 97% of the spectator capacity.
“The Save Meadowbank campaign calls for a full investigation into how officials within Edinburgh Council acted in failing to bring this suggestion to the attention of Councillors for scrutiny and a decision.”