Monday, 21 June 2021

The crisis at Edinburgh University

Professor Tom Divine has written at the week-end of the culture of fear which has taken over at Edinburgh University.

He cites three recent issues which illustrate that the University has allowed a pernicious culture to flourish with wild and untrue allegations made with visceral hostility against members of staff and even more importantly, against academic freedom.

  1.  He refers to the renaming of the David Hume Tower at the behest of the the 'Black Ed' student group which was formed during the Black Lives Matter protests last summer, and which has now given an official position on the University's Race, Equality and Anti-Racist Sub-Committee.
  2. Then there is the wild and crippling allegations which have been made against Ann Henderson, the former Rector and President of the University Court.  She has been the victim of a repeated campaign of opprobrium for her views as part of the identity wars - beloved by some.
  3. Then there is the extraordinary case of Dr Neil Thin who, after 34 years of service, was suspended because of student allegations about his teaching on issues of race.  The suspension was lifted a month later but the university will not take action against the false accusers.  He has refused to take up his post again until his accusers face consequences for their actions.
Here is an extract from Tom Devine's article:
There are more profound forces at work in British universities which are much more insidious and much more difficult to fix than changing their leaderships.  These include years of managerialism, exhausting labour disputes over conditions and pensions, ever rising levels of bureaucracy, coupled with the persistent extension of the power of  bureaucrats and the emasculation of the academic bodies such as Senates and Councils.. . . 

There is much more of interest in his article if you can access it - here.

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Meadows temporary toilets in operation from 21st June

The temporary toilets in the Meadows, approved on 22nd April, are due to arrive and be plumbed in this week.  

I expect them to be just off Middle Meadow Walk and they should be operational on Monday 21st.

Thursday, 10 June 2021

Cowan's Close changes

The Council is planning to vacate the Cowan's Close waste depot off East Crosscauseway.

There are proposals to build  housing on the site.  But the Council is currently consulting for local views.

More information here.  

Here are details of two consultation events:

The online drop-in consultation events are taking place on Thursday 17th June and Thursday 15th July between:  
8:30am - 9:30am;  12:30pm - 13:30pm;  6:30pm - 7:30pm 
There is no need to register in advance for the events, just drop-in using the links below: 
Session 1 Thursday 17th June -  – feedback on the area Session 2 Thursday 15th July - – see proposals for the site.

It is anticipated the depot will be gradually vacated over 2021/21 


Thursday, 13 May 2021

Meadows Jawbone return gets closer

Having originally appeared on the Meadows at the International Exhibition of Industry, Science and Art in 1886, the Meadows Jawbone is due for return after a lengthy refurbishment.

More details here.

The return is due this summer.

Police charge 14 over Meadows incidents on Easter weekend

 Police have charged 11 men and three boys over disorder in the Meadows on Easter weekend

More information here.

Inquiry officers would appreciate anyone with further information coming forward.  Dial 101 and quote: Inc 1635 030421

Thursday, 22 April 2021

Temporary toilet improvements in Meadows approved

I spent a long time today in a committee to encourage the Council to respond to the urgency of additional toilet provision in the Meadows  I am glad to say £450,000 was allocated for such provision (throughout the city) to help in busy periods throughout the Summer.  That's timely - though it won't be available for the coming week-end!

But there is a more permanent need.  And we have managed to get included exploration of provision in the central Meadows area (perhaps the Pavilion upgraded?)

No compensation payments to developer for delay in handing over the Sick Kids site

Some have queried whether the extensive delays in handing over the Sick Kids site to Downing, the purchaser, are costing the public purse.  I have checked with NHS Lothian who responded thus:

"There are no monies or compensation being paid by NHS Lothian to Downing Group or other party in respect of the delay in vacating the Royal Hospital for Sick Children at Sciennes."

Planning permission was granted to Downing in early 2019 and, with the hospital now having transferred to Little France, I have been advised that the actual handover of the site will be in the first few days of June.   That's June 2021 😑

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