Press Release sent earlier today -
Local residents will be on the street outside the Macrae tenements at 221-227 Canongate on The Royal Mile today from 2pm to protest against the council's short sightedness to leave 18 homes empty before they are demolished to make way for a 5 star hotel, at a time when there are nearly half a million bids for 2700 homes this year alone in the capital.
Members of the Canongate Community Forum have asked for an internal investigation into the City of Edinburgh Council
who have refused to answer Freedom of Information requests on how many council houses are empty in the Canongate and what is the loss of revenue.
Today the Canongate Community Forum received this email from a supporter in the West of Scotland
"As a Scot I'm dismayed and disgusted for the proposals in your area which will not only see the destruction of our world heritage status it will continue the fascism of the early eighties that plighted people across Scotland.
It will be a sad loss to the generations of Scots still to be born who would be able to walk these streets and absorb the surroundings enthusing not only learning but also creativity, pride and an understanding of their historic roots.
To remove such buildings and peoples is a socio-cultural crime of such significance that it should be alongside that of the Highland clearances and another indication that we are our own worst enemy as well as a ratification of a move closer to the sterile worlds written within the prophetic novels of Eric Blair and Aldous Huxley.
I wish you well in everything you do in your attempt to overt this national tragedy and hope that these proposals become only a sad reflection of past victories.
I can honestly say I enjoy visiting Edinburgh which evades me due to illness these days and I am deeply saddened by such a proposal which will destroy an area that made me feel so proud to be Scottish and that I hoped to visit again.
Catriona Grant, Chair of the Canongate Community Forum said
"The Homecoming should be about all the people living in Scotland coming home to a home!"
The Year of Homecoming 2009 must insist that homes are built in our city and that existing empty homes are opened up. It should not be used as a justification to build more hotels and more homes becoming holiday lets"
She added - "We will be out today letting the many Hogmanay Visitors see what else is going on in our city"
In September 2006 Scots writer Alasdair Gray said
"Mrs Thatcher called upon the Scots to start exploiting their natural resources, not meaning that they should learn to produce good food, clothes and housing for each other, but earn the money to buy these from tourist industries, thus becoming a nation of boarding houses, heritage trails, golf courses and summer schools, with business conference centres in some of the prettiest places, with nuclear submarine and airforce bases in others. New Labour continues this policy, while drug addiction and brutal crime grow worse in once hopeful housing schemes that are now our new slums. There may be small nations in the world with effective democratic constitutions. Scotland is not among them, perhaps not England either. "
Does the SNP now want to continue this policy, and use the descendents of the last clearances to justify this latest one??
UNESCO inspectors visited the capital in November and "criticised Edinburgh council's handling of the Caltongate development and said the demolition of two listed buildings could have been avoided"
Join us again on New Years Day from 2pm