The Big Issue carries an article on Edinburgh's rich/poor divide .JK Rowling has written about the shock of first moving to a council estate in the city and finding “violence, crime and addiction were part of everyday life in that part of Edinburgh… yet barely 10 minutes away was a different world, a world of cashmere and cream teas”.
Susan Carr, who runs the Craigmillar Neighbourhood Alliance explains how an ongoing regeneration project has stalled due to the economic downturn.“Given we’re only 10 minutes from parliament, in one of the wealthiest cities in Europe, the level of deprivation does seem outrageous...”
Carr’s colleague Norrie Davis, a lifelong Craigmillar man, says they are all “living in hope” that a new secondary school and library will be completed and that half-finished homes will be sold. “Everything’s slowed down because of the recession..."
Kirsty McLaron, 33, says “things have quietened down an awful lot, apart from one of two troublemakers”, but she doesn’t give Labour any of the credit. “They haven’t done anything for this area at all. I don’t really care if the Tory boy gets in – it can’t be any worse than Labour.”
One of her neighbours, 63-year-old Peter Kane, concurs. “The area’s got a hell of a lot better. A hell of a lot. I remember the days when you couldn’t even walk about safely in the daytime.” but he won’t put any of the improvement down to Labour politicians in London or Edinburgh. “The thing that sickened me was the MPs’ expenses,” he tuts. “They’ve been screwing us at every opportunity, and I don’t see any reason to vote for Labour now.”
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