Plus ça change, plus ce n'est pas la même chose

Dear Spurtle,

The abruptly cancelled August Leith Central Community Council meeting was to have included a presentation and Q&A on Drum’s latest proposal for Stead's Place - a key part of the pre-application process enshrined in planning legislation.

In an update to your report on that cancellation, you quote an unnamed Council spokesperson claiming Council advice has not changed.

I invite your readers to judge for themselves.

On 6 July 2020, CEC advised:

These changes can be interpreted as giving more leeway should community councils wish to re-start physical meetings. There is no requirement to hold physical meetings during this phase. However, we do wish to give you the option.

On 5 August 2020, CEC advised:

It is our strongly recommended position that all Edinburgh’s community councils also continue to meet remotely during this period. We believe that this in the interest of safety and public health.

Arguably, at least the form of words has changed. Given that the August advice came with the authority of the body charged with public-health responsibilities for Edinburgh, and was signed by the Chief Executive Andrew Kerr, there is really only one interpretation of its meaning.

On 7 August we asked for the reasons that caused the change in CEC guidance. It is regrettable that to date we have not received a response.

Yours sincerely

Harald Tobermann

Vice Chair

Leith Central Community Council