In the last seven days two different people have been touch with Greener Leith , frustrated with the poor service they’ve received from the council when they’ve tried to sort out fairly minor dumping and “street-scape” issues.
Our newest member, from the Leith Colonies, has sent us this guest post explaining why he’s becoming increasingly convinced that Leithers are getting a raw deal from the council.
A friend from the other side of Edinburgh was telling me how quick the Council was to respond to issues like fly tipping when she phoned them. Dealt with in a matter of days, routinely.
And then I read that the Council aim to fix reported road defects within three days. I was amazed, for I’ve been trying for years to get a yellow line repainted in our street.
Our pavements were repaired several years ago (maybe six years ago, probably more, you know how the years pass?), and one half of the double yellow line was dug up. The yellow lines were quite recent at that time, having been put in place to ensure access for emergency vehicles and to protect the pavements from people driving on them to get around parked cars.
Now that the double yellow line isn’t complete, confused visitors often park on it at weekends thinking it is a single yellow.
So, some years ago, I reported it to Clarence (the Council repairs hotline). Nothing happened, and I tried again a few years later. Still nothing. Then last November we had a street surgery in our street. A couple of neighbours turned up and chatted to the very positive and charming team of Council officials. I explained about the missing yellow line, and soon got a letter confirming that this would be raised with the line-painting contractor.
But guess what, six months on and … still nothing. What happened? Did they look at it and decide not to bother? Lots of new white lines suddenly appeared in the colonies a few weeks ago, but presumably they didn’t have any yellow paint with them that day.
So, what do I need to do to get this sorted? Having raised it politely through all the right channels time after time? Paint myself yellow and lie in the road? Get the councillors involved, for surely they don’t have anything better to do.
Or should I just forget about it and become just another Leither that thinks that Leith gets a raw deal and the Council doesn’t care – pretty easy to think that, for this little example is just one of many (The most recent case was our recycling bins being set on fire. Took weeks until the mess was cleared up, after the intervention of Cllr Booth, and we are still waiting for replacement bins.)
Then this afternoon I went for a cycle ride with my daughter, around the Walkway which has just been redone, with benches, ramps and litter bins. We stopped off to see the cygnets and goslings in Lochend Park, and wound our way home.
It all looked great, and showed that investment is being made in Leith, money does get spent on capital projects. But I expect that once a few months have passed, and things start to go wrong with the Walkway, it will then be a big effort to get action, to get repairs made. I imagine that Leith is littered with examples of small, simple issues that local people have reported to the Council, that don’t need a lot of money to fix.
Probably there are lots of people out there who have raised the same issues again and again. Apparently in other parts of the city, they get listened to.
Have you ever painted yourself yellow in frustration with the council? Have you got a positive story about local council officers? Do you think Leithers get a raw deal from the council? Let us know in the comments below.
Photo credit: Judith