Submitted by Editor on Sat, 12/10/2019 - 16:12

Friends of Pilrig Park and their allies object in the strongest possible terms to another proposal to site the Ladyboys of Bangkok/La Clique cabarets in Pilrig Park for 30 days next summer.  

Writing to the Council, they oppose permitting or licensing these events here. Their reasons include:

  • prolonged and excessive loss of amenity to regular community users during summer holidays
  • noise, litter, disturbance of residents
  • potential damage to park and infrastructure
  • constrained access and local traffic/parking congestion giving concern for public safety
  • duration of the event more than double the maximum period prescribed in the Council’s own Edinburgh Parks Events Manifesto
  • availability of larger and more suitable venues at Inverleith and the Meadows.

Not for the first time

Locals last fended off the Ladyboys in January this year, securing an intervention by CEC’s Executive Director of Place Paul Lawrence (Issues 281, 282).

This time, they question why the application was submitted without a detailed site plan, and note disapprovingly that the consultation period has coincided with elections when their community council was unable to operate.

Former Leith Walk councillor and now Friends chair Nick Gardner says, ‘We are surprised and disappointed that the Council is contemplating this proposal anew.

‘It suggests a failure on the Council’s part to understand the park it owns, and a failure to manage the expectations of the applicant as to what the park can offer.’

Part of a bigger problem

Spurtle wishes the Friends well in their spirited defence of a local asset. But in many peoples opinion, the problem now goes wider and affects residents across Edinburgh as a whole.

In this period of austerity, parks are no longer truly respected by Council bean-counters or desperate pragmatists as places for quiet, rest, and recreation. To them, parks constitute an unnecessary luxury, a drain on resources. For them, if parks are to survive, it must be as commercial venues whose value lies in their potential to generate revenue.

Spurtle disagrees. We join those – many of them within the Parks, Greenspace and Cemeteries Department itself – who consider such an approach wrong-headed and intolerable.

Got a view? Tell us at spurtle@hotmail.co.uk and @theSpurtle