OTCC response to the CEC Public Spaces Protocol

At long last, a proposal for managing events in Old Town.

The residents of Grassmarket area have lived with a series of “trial” “pilot” and “draft” attempts at managing the plethora of activities foisted upon them since 2008. Over the years a number of proposals have gone to various Committees but with no conclusive outcome. So for 10 years an “Events Programme” has been actively running in Grassmarket, without a properly formed Management Plan.

The Public Spaces Protocol being presented to the City of Edinburgh Council’s Transport and Environment Committee is worthy of serious consideration and shows evidence of listening to what the residents say about events in the area. Anna Herriman, the author of the document, has worked with a variety of Stakeholders and it’s notable that in her references to these contributors, “residents” are first on her list for consideration – that says a lot.

We are encouraged by the specifics of the Public Spaces Protocol, exact timings for set up and take down of events, how many events in a given period, how loud will they be , how good will they be and for whose benefit? They reveal a listening ear and the benefits be felt by everyone living in Old Town.

Ten years is a long time to wait for anything.  Many residents have left the Grassmarket area in direct response to the noise and disturbance caused by unregulated events and activities. The City of Edinburgh Council’s Transport and Environment Committee has an opportunity to show the remaining resident population (currently around 600) that :

1. they too, have a listening ear
2. they will not only adopt the Public Spaces Protocol but
3. they will implement and enforce it too.

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