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Local resident Jim Sillars in the news

Former deputy leader of the SNP Jim Sillars lives locally.  He has been speaking out on a couple of issues recently.

First, here is today's report on his contribution to the EU debate: 'Jim Sillars has exposed the intellectual dishonesty behind the case for indyref2'   His comments address the contradictions of attaching to the EU and detaching from the UK.

Then he is a keynote speaker at an No to Named Persons event on 20th March, opposing the Scottish Government proposals to give a state guardian for every young person.   Details here.

Featuring a Nat must say something about the breadth of this blog. . . 

McDowall Road next up for 'patching'

Between Monday 27th March and Friday 31st March there will be some restrictions on parking in MacDowall Road whilst road resurfacing takes place.   Alas, it is just patching.

This is one of the great frustrations of being a councillor - the system being used and the inefficiency of road resurfacing/repairs.  However, at least it should improve the situation for MacDowall Road resident.

John Swinney called on to 'do a Hammond' and ditch the Named Person scheme

Local Southside & Newington resident Jim Sillars today advised John Swinney and the Scottish Government to abandon the controversial Named Person scheme which seeks to appoint a state guardian for every child in Scotland.  In calling for John Swinney to 'do a Hammond' he was referring to the early climb down of the Chancellor on his much criticised National Insurance rises for the self employed

At a conference at the Pollock Halls this afternoon the former deputy leader of the SNP spoke against the SNP government's scheme - which was declared illegal last year by the Supreme Court.  He was one of three speakers who indicated they were in favour of independence but were appalled by the current SNP approach to this issue.

The conference was attended by 250 people who heard speaker after speaker describe how they believed the Scottish Government policy was illiberal, unnecessary and harmful.  More details in this article in The Scotsman.

The NO2NP website has a link to a…

Tenement collapse that changed the shape of the Southside

In 1959 some tenements, then one hundred and fifty years old, just off St Leonards Street were in a perilous state having been built on poor foundations.  

Amongst them was the Penny Tenement - so named because the owner tried to sell it for one penny.  The tenements were demolished and the way was cleared (mostly) for new housing which we now see in Bowmont Place and the Dumbiedykes.

David McLean has more of the history in this article in today's Evening News.

Queen's Hall get £650k

I note there has been a £650k cash injection to the Queen's Hall in Clerk Street which will give a bit of financial stability over the coming years.

Details here.

AIRBNB - update

I get questions from time to time about the status of Airbnb lets in Edinburgh.  Here is my understanding of the situation.

Is Airbnb regulated or licensed by the Council?  Airbnb  and the homeowners who take bookings via the website do not require permission from the Council.  Edinburgh Council licences 'Houses in Multiple Occupation', but short term lets are exempt as the property being let is not the main residence of the person making the booking.Can the Council introduce a licensing system for Airbnb?  No.  The Scottish Parliament would need to introduce new legislation giving local authorities additional powers.Does the Council keep a register of homes which are let via the Airbnb website?  No.  The owners do not require the permission of the Council and the Council has no way of knowing which homes are being used in this way.Do let properties require planning permission?   The answer is that in certain circumstances they may but it depends on the circumstances and the a…

St Leonards student housing on target for August completion

The 579 bedroom student accommodation development at the old Homebase site in St Leonards Street is still on target for completion in early August.  As well as the 579 bedrooms there is some retail and office/services space included.

I understand the nearby student development in Bernard Terrace is also close to schedule for opening in time for the autumn university term.