Famous statue removed for restoration work

By Amanda MacMillan

THE oldest equestrian lead statue in the UK was taken away from its plinth in Edinburgh for crucial restoration work today (Sun).

The famous statue of Charles II sits in the capital’s Parliament Square and depicts the monarch as a Roman Emperor on horseback.

The statue dates back to 1685 and there is also the possibility that it is the work of the Dutch sculptor Grinling Gibbons.

The imposing monument is made of lead and has an internal framework, made from oak and mild steel.

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First new council houses in generation to be built in Edinburgh

By Amanda MacMillan

SCOTLAND’S Housing Minister Alex Neil cut a sod of earth as work on the first new council houses to be built in Edinburgh for a generation finally got underway yesterday (tues).

The city will see an addition of 215 new homes built as work on the site of three former high rises in Gracemount gets underway – with at least 67 for rent.

The rest will be for shared equity sale or mid market rent.

The homes, constructed by developers Cruden Group along with Hart Builders will, be a range of sizes and styles, such as flats and colony houses, with the first council homes available in winter 2011.

Silver anniversary celebrations for Edinburgh day centre

by Shaun Milne

ONE of Edinburgh’s longest-running day centres is celebrating its 25th anniversary later today (tues).

The Rt. Hon. George Grubb, Lord Lieutenant and Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh, will be guest of honour at a special event this afternoon at Drylaw Rainbow Club Day Centre to a commemorative plaque.

The building started as a day centre in 1985 providing day care for 50 older people living in the community.

Last year, after extra funding from City of Edinburgh Council’s Health and Social Care department, they now have 75 places a week available to older people and employ two extra staff. Continue reading

City of Edinburgh Council reveal cash saving jobs cull plan

By Shaun Milne

COUNCIL chiefs in Edinburgh have drawn up plans to axe at least 300 jobs as part of a £16m cost-saving plan.

City of Edinburgh Council bosses say it will be mainly management posts and backroom jobs in the firing line.

But insiders warned “nothing can be ruled in or out at this stage”.

The cuts – to be rolled out over three years – are the first steps to achieving savings of some £90m expected to be needed.

Details of the proposals drawn up by council officials were being presented to unions today (wed). Continue reading

Council calls time on Edinburgh tram traffic chaos

By Martin Graham

CARS could soon get the green light to drive in Edinburgh’s West End again – if council bosses finally agree to lift current tram restrictions on health grounds.

Motorists have been banned from Shandwick Place since the controversial works began, forcing cars down side streets.

Ashley Lloyd near Randolph Place

Residents living nearby claim their health has been put at risk from traffic fumes as a direct result of the new rat runs.

At a meeting today, packed out with interested members of the public, city councillors  agreed to consider a report on the impact.

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Public facing workers “deserving of abuse”

By Andrea McCallum

NIGHTCLUB bouncers, call centre workers, parking attendants and receptionists are all considered “legitimate targets” for abuse from members of the public, according to new government research.

Airport workers, police officers, and front-line civil servants are also considered to be “deserving” of abuse whereas firefighters, ambulance crews and nurses are not.

The research involved members of the public putting18 professionals on a scale from “deserving” to “undeserving” when it came to the legitimacy of attacks.

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Council cuts lands families with huge school run bill

By Rory Reynolds

A FAMILY may have to fork out more than £600-a-year to get their two daughters to school after a rule change left them too close to qualify for free travel.

Mike Howard and his kids have been left one street outside of the local catchment area for a free bus to travel the 2.9 miles to St Thomas of Acquin’s in Edinburgh.

His daughters Mhairi, 14, and Beth, 12, used qualify for free travel but under new council plans to cut costs the boundary will restricted from a previous two miles to three.

Local councillors say they have been bombarded with calls from angry parents demanding to know why their children are to trek up to three miles each way across town every day.

Mike, 41, is among the hundreds of parents across the city that could be forced to pay £28-a-month per child for a bus pass due to Edinburgh City Council’s new cash-saving measures. Continue reading