Greens seek urgent action over loss of Edinburgh’s Parliament House

Green councillors are demanding immediate action over the reported loss of a major historic building from the city’s common good account.

According to reports this morning, the 17th century Parliament House, in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, should have been listed as part of the city’s “common good” assets – a portfolio of historic buildings and parks gifted to or acquired by the city over centuries and looked after by the city council on behalf of all citizens.

It now appears that the city council has failed to register Parliament House as belonging to the city, with the result that the Scottish Government assumed ownership and it is now listed in the name of the Faculty of Advocates.

Thumb Gavin-at-City-Chambers-close-815x1024Green Finance Spokesperson Cllr Gavin Corbett said

“I have repeatedly raised concerns about the quality of the council’s common good management at Finance Committee and this monumental cock-up, if as reported, suggests that chickens have come home to roost.

“I’ve already written seeking an urgent meeting with Finance Convenor Alasdair Rankin this week with the aim of getting Parliament House back. I know my Green MSP colleague Alison Johnstone has already highlighted the weakness of the common good proposals in the current Community Empowerment Bill in Parliament. She’ll be following this up with the minister to make sure they are fit for purpose in light of this travesty.

“This seems to be just the latest in a long saga of common good failures from councils and cannot be allowed to continue.”

Further details are available in a blog by land expert Andy Wightman.