I’ve been working hard with the community to try and keep the TSB on Niddrie Mains Road open. The petition is going strong, if you haven’t signed it already pop in to my office, the Neighbourhood Alliance, the library or one of the many shops on Niddrie Mains road with petition sheets in them. We plan to present it to TSB on 4th November at 4pm – please come along and be part of the campaign to save our bank.
You may be aware of the decision to allow a large hotel to be built in the Old Town - at the site covering the beautiful A-listed India Buildings and the B-listed Cowgatehead. Alongside my piece in the Evening News, I’ve written twice to the Council’s Planning Convenor, and to the Local Government Minister to highlight concerns about the decision. The effects on the neighbouring Central Library, the finest Carnegie-endowed library in the nation, could be huge, especially the loss of natural light to the principal lending room. I fully understand the Council’s desire to sell some assets so it can look after others properly but we need to reflect on how we, as a city, go about this and make sure that we don’t sell off our heritage to the highest bidder.
I was delighted that Paul Wheelhouse (Minister for Business, Innovation & Energy) announced earlier in the month that Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) will have no place in Scotland. You can read the full statement here. We are expecting the report on fracking (Unconventional Oil and Gas) to be published shortly which will be followed by a full public consultation. I'll share news on this in due course.
There was great news for Craigentinny Telferton Allotments as the landowner's appeal to build on the site was dismissed. The Scottish Reporter recognised the value of the site to the community as allotments and open space over housing. I hope that the allotments now have a bright future.
October brings the annual SNP Conference. Prior to conference constituents requested a variety of stalls which I was pleased to do. You can see a small sample of the stalls in the picture above. I was also pleased to take part in a Fringe event on the issue of settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.