Edinburgh Greens hit out at Meadowbank bias

Edinburgh Greens have hit out at a biased report into the future of Meadowbank Stadium. 

Green councillors say that a report which will go to City of Edinburgh Council this week only reflects the entrenched view of the chair of the review group.  The majority of the group do not agree with much of the report.

The Green Group argue that options for refurbishing Meadowbank were not properly considered during the review.  So their amendment to the full meeting of the City Council will seek detailed costings on various options for refurbishment. 

The future of the Meadowbank stadium became a major election issue in early 2007, following Council plans to demolish the stadium and sell the site for housing, using the proceeds for a new stadium in the west of Edinburgh and other projects in the city.  However, the level of public protest at this decision prompted promises of a review. 

Green councillor Alison Johnstone, who sat on the review group, said:

“I am astonished that we have made so little progress in the last four months.  There is a strong tide of opinion which wants to see the refurbishment of Meadowbank looked at seriously.  Yet, right at the outset, the chair, Terry Christie, made clear that he did not see that as a serious option.  As a result there was no serious discussion of refurbishment, nor did we get detailed costings relating specifically to that site.

“That is why I recorded my dissent to all of the options that were presented in the report.  That is why the Council needs to reject the biased report of the Chair of the Review group and seek real consensus about the best way forward.”

ENDS

Notes to Editor

1. The review group chaired by Terry Christie was appointed in May 2007.  The group was unable to reach a consensus when a report was published on Friday 17 August so the report is that of the chair alone.   

2. The subsequent report to Council for 23 August reads: “The Council are asked to receive his report and note the conclusions and recommendations he makes,

“Note the difficulties encountered by the Group and the dissent within the Group with respect to particular conclusions and recommendations

“Note the significant funding shortfalls across all options.�

3. The draft Green amendment asks the Council to reject the report from the chair of the group and:

“Notes that the majority of presentations to the Working Group were focused on a rebuild at Sighthill, with no detailed consideration given to refurbishment options, or indeed any options that did not involve obtaining maximum capital receipts from the Meadowbank site; and requests detailed information and costings on refurbishment on that specific site.  Notes that Berlin stadium built for the 1936 Olympics was successfully upgraded for last year’s World Cup, that Stockholm Stadium built for the 1912 Olympics, the 1932 Los Angeles stadium and the 1952 Helsinki arena are all still in use, prominent features of their cities, and asks that the Council preserve and enhance this historic Scottish sporting venue.”