Loganair steps in to take over four routes from Edinburgh Airport previously run by Flybe

Scottish airline Loganair has taken over four routes from Edinburgh Airport that were previously operated by the defunct company Flybe.

The routes to Manchester, Exeter, Cardiff and Newquay will commence from Monday March 16, the company announced.

Flybe went into administration on Thursday after hopes to boost the airline through fresh financial support collapsed.

Loganair will also be creating 100 new jobs across its four Scottish bases – Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee – and the company has said it will be prioritising applications from former Flybe staff for all of the roles.

Loganair’s chief executive Jonathan Hinkles said: “By stepping in quickly with a comprehensive plan, Loganair is aiming to maintain essential air connectivity within the UK regions to keep customers flying, and to offer new employment to former Flybe staff members who are facing an uncertain future.”

The Flybe desk at Edinburgh Airport has closed (Credit: EN4 News)

As well as the Edinburgh routes, Loganair have taken over an additional 12 routes from Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee, and will be running an additional 400 flights a week.

In a statement sent to EN4 News, Scottish secretary for transport Michael Matheson, said: “It is very disappointing that Flybe has gone out of business. The carrier was an essential part of our domestic transport network, connecting cities for business and tourism around the UK, as well as providing employment at the main airports in Scotland.

“My officials have spoken with AGS Airports, Edinburgh Airport and Highlands & Islands Airports this morning to discuss how we can best ensure connectivity is maintained. We have also spoken with Loganair, who are preparing to take up a number of Flybe’s former routes to help maintain connectivity.”

Forth Bridge Experience: South Queensferry residents express safety concerns over parking plans

The Forth Bridge Experience will allow visitors to access a platform 110m above sea level – but South Queensferry residents have raised concerns (Photo courtesy of Network Rail)

 

Traffic congestion caused by a new tourist attraction on the Forth Bridge could lead to safety concerns in South Queensferry, local residents have said.

The Forth Bridge Experience was approved by Edinburgh Council earlier this week, but updated plans for the project came with a provision to reduce the number of parking spaces by half.

The community group Forth Bridge Experience Concerns says that the measure will contribute to more traffic congestion in the town as visitors to the attraction could be forced to park in narrow side streets if the reduced lot is full.

“We were just really disappointed,” campaigner Jeana Gorman told EN4 News. “We were there at the meeting and it sounded like they had real concerns about the car parking. South Queensferry has severe problems with parking, so we were concerned about that to start with.

“The condition they came back with was a new plan for the parking, basically halving the number of car spaces, so that’s just going to spill onto sides streets.

Gorman also claimed that despite Edinburgh Council encouraging people to use more environmentally means of travel, such as by bike, train or walking, it isn’t always possible for them to do so.

“People will chance it and bring their cars and there won’t be spaces, so they’ll park on side streets which will cause all sorts of safety concerns. If ambulances or something are trying to get through and the streets are busy, then they are not going to get through.”

The Forth Bridge Experience will see a bridge walk installed on the 130-year structure. Visitors will be able to access a platform over 100 meters above sea level. Plans will also see a visitor centre built on the South Queensferry side.

Edinburgh Council approved the plans at a planning committee meeting on Wednesday and were backed by planning convener Neil Gardner.

He said to EN4 News: “The committee added a number of conditions to the planning permission to ensure that road safety is protected and improved.”

“We are keen to encourage use of public transport, walking and cycling, whilst promoting visitor spend in Queensferry. The proposal includes welcome investment in public paths to the railway station and connections to the High Street through the rebuilding of Jacob’s Ladder and other improvements which will be useful for local residents and visitors alike.”

Conservative councillor Joanna Mowat was among those on the committee to vote against the plans.

“I regret that the Committee voted to reduce the parking numbers – reducing 30 parking spaces won’t save the planet but will increase the parking problems and have a negative impact on the lives of the residents,” Mowat told EN4 News.

“Councillors will all be familiar with the problems caused to residents and businesses from unrestricted parking and it is a nonsense to add to that problem when the negative impacts of a great new attraction could have been mitigated.”

Democrats Abroad: How an event in Edinburgh helps sway the US Primaries

As Democrat party members went to the polls for Super Tuesday in hotly contested states such as California and Texas, a somewhat less grand affair was taking place on a global scale.

From Singapore to the Czech Republic, Little-Americas popped up around the world allowing US citizens who live abroad to cast their ballot for their preferred candidate.

Since 1976, Democrats Abroad has sent a delegation to the Democratic Primary Convention and this year, they are running 220 events across 45 countries to facilitate the global primary.

Earlier this week one such event was held here in Edinburgh at the Quaker Meeting House. EN4news went along to get a sense of what voters over here make of the race so far.

Among the cowboy hats and American flags, we sat down with Alex Goetz, President of Edinburgh’s Democrats Overseas and one of the managers organising the days event.

“I’ve seen a huge amount of voter activism that I don’t think I’ve necessarily seen in every type of election. I know that Democrats abroad tend to be fairly politically active.

“If you’re joining an organisation of Democrats and you’re living in not the United States you will just by definition be a little more active.”

See More: Elizabeth Warren drops out of the race for US presidency 

See more: Loganair steps in to take over four routes from Edinburgh Airport previously run by Flybe

See more: Coronavirus: Latest updates, news and reports
Asked whether the same type of enthusiasm found on the campaign trail in the US can be found out here Alex explained: “I mean we’ve got a room full of people who have just come out to vote today in Edinburgh, Scotland so I would say that’s a pretty good sign of some pretty good enthusiasm”

Photo Credit: EN4 News

Later that day we caught up with some of the voters taking part in the Democrats abroad primary and asked them how they manage to stay engaged with the primary process living across the pond.

“It’s a funny thing because I do feel a connection even though I live here. To me if you’re an active citizen it’s your responsibility to stay engaged” one voter told us.

Another said she “feels removed” from the process out of choice. This voter went on to explain: “I could cry at the top of a hat. I’m not a crier but when I think about what’s going on [in the US] its beyond, it’s extra.”

The Democrats Abroad primary will last until next Tuesday as votes are tallied from around the world. While this primary produces a total of only 13 pledged delegates, a miniscule number compared to the 415 available in California, they may prove vital in a tight two-horse race such as this.

City Art Centre celebrates history of female artists

A lecture on the history of women artists in Edinburgh was held yesterday afternoon at the City Art Centre in the lead-up to International Women’s Day.

Breaching the Glass Ceiling: Women Artists and Professionalism, part of a series of talks discussing female artists, shed light on the status of women artists in the late nineteenth century, their struggle to study their craft and their hope to be recognised as professionals.

Dr Joanna Soden, a Scottish Art specialist and speaker of the event, spoke to EN4 News about the importance of discussing female art:

“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity doing such an event and being part of it. Women’s History Month is a continuation of the themes I was talking about through my talk which is about taking whatever opportunity you can and running with it. I think the higher the profile these women have is proof that they can have successful careers worth celebrating.”

The lecture discussed various female Edinburgh artists including Amelia Hill, the main female contributor to the statues seen on the Scott Monument and Mary Rose Hill Burton, a founding member of the Edinburgh Lady Artists’ Club.

Learning and programmes manager Margaret Findlay, who introduced the event, spoke about the success of this series of lectures thus far:

“I think talks like this are really important because art history is quite male dominated so its very important to highlight all the fantastic female artists there have been. This series of lectures we have had in the lead-up to International [Women’s Day] have been phenomenally successful, so that shows that there is an appetite for it.”

The lecture series will conclude this weekend with a talk on the works of artist Mary Cameron on Sunday, complementing the exhibition of her work currently on display.

Growth of Edinburgh Fringe audience concerns event organisers in annual report

 

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival has vowed to adjust the way the event is advertised after concerns over the impact of its growing audience.

After releasing the annual Fringe review for 2019, organisers have acknowledged that a new strategy managing the city during peak periods needs to be taken.

Shona McCarthy, chief executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, said: “We still have work to do. Our world is changing rapidly, and at the Fringe Society, we’re changing how we do things.

“As I’ve said many times, we don’t have a growth agenda for the Fringe; our audience development strategy is based on the mantra of ‘one more show, not two more feet’, encouraging those already here to engage more with the festival.”

Last summer’s event attracted over three million to Scotland’s capital and was classed as one of the world’s over-tourism hotspots last summer.

As well as admitting that better approaches need to be taken to handle tourism constraints, the Fringe has also pledged to make the event more sustainable during the climate crisis.

“Maintaining the Fringe’s global outlook while minimising the festival’s carbon footprint is a challenge, but we will ensure that sustainability is embedded across all our activities,” McCarthy explained.

This eco-friendly approach has seen a reduction in the printing of Fringe programmes from 395,000 in 2017 to 350,000 in 2019, with a plan to invest in digital alternatives in the future.

“We have used technology to engage with artists around the world and reduce the need for travel, developing our online FringeCasts, a series of live streamed advice sessions for prospective Fringe artists,” McCarthy added.

“The series has massively improved our ability to reach participants abroad, with viewers tuning in from 51 countries and every continent on earth except Antarctica.”

McCarthy continued to explain that these improved approaches will require a lot of work, but by working on a shared agenda with Fringe venues, artists and fellow Edinburgh festivals, they will collectively make a difference to future Fringe Festivals.

Sticking by last year’s aim of strengthening community links across Edinburgh, McCarthy said they are “committed to finding a balance of deepening local roots and celebrating our position as one of the greatest celebration of arts and culture on the planet.”

Living Rent protesters call out ‘immoral’ event which claims to help Edinburgh landlords ‘maximise their profits’

 

Campaigners from tenants’ union Living Rent have branded an Edinburgh workshop which claims to help landlords maximise their profits as “immoral”.

Dozens of activists from the group protested outside of the ‘Making Money From Property’ seminar, which took place inside the Doubletree hotel on Bread Street on Thursday evening.

Protesters pointed to rising rent and the lack of affordable housing in the city, which they say has resulted in a rise in homelessness in the city.

“The event talks about maximising profits, which means maximising rent and parasitically extracting rent from students and tenants across Edinburgh,” campaigner Rufus told EN4 News.

“There’s 12,000 people on the waiting list for a single bedroom council house in Edinburgh alone and about 3,000 people on the streets.

“And so refusing to recognise that this housing crisis is part of this broader landlord movement to increase profits and extract more and more rent from people is immoral.”

Members from the union also repeated calls for the Scottish Government to introduce rent controls.

“The government needs to be held to account. It feels like the wild-west for landlords right now, and I think we need serious rent controls,” Jessica told EN4 News.

“There is a massive homelessness and housing crisis [in the city] and in the fifth richest economy in the world that’s not acceptable in any way.

“Seminars like this where people come and they’re like, ‘just buy a bunch of houses and make a bunch of money’. Houses are not there for you to make money, they’re for people and families to live in.”

Protesters at ‘Making Money From Property’ event (Credit: EN4 News)

Data from the letting agency CityLets shows that Edinburgh has seen the biggest rent rises in Scotland over the past 10 years.

The average rent in the city is £1,131 according to the figures, up from an average of £734 four years ago. In the same period, the average rent in Glasgow increased from £571 to £802.

Although the city’s homeless population has fallen by 20% over the past five years, according to figures published in April 2019, the number of homeless people in Edinburgh remains over 3,000.

The ‘Making Money from Property’ seminar was advertised by BBC presenter and property expert Martin Roberts, although the Homes Under the Hammer star did not attend Thursday’s event.

(Credit: EN4 News)

 

On its website, the event claims to help would-be landlords buy new property at auction, as well as advice on “rental and capital growth strategies” and tips on “how to maximise your profits”.

The organisers of the event have been approached by EN4 News for comment.

Protesters from Living Rent met outside the Cycle Republic shop on Morrison Street before marching to the Bread Street hotel.

Campaigner Eve added: “Housing is a fundamental human right and until you can guarantee that every tenant has a safe place to live, isn’t forced into poverty because of their rent and is protected for a series of legislative rights, then we can talk about pricing.

“But those should come first because it’s about human rights.”

Listen to campaigners explain to EN4 News why they were protesting the event, below. 

Coronavirus, police cuts and Lewis Capaldi – EN4 News’ Owen Garner covers today’s headlines

Owen Garner covers some of today’s major newspaper headlines, as Coronavirus fears continue to plague the country, and Police Scotland face major cuts in the year ahead.

Scottish SPCA launch urgent appeal to find homes for eight Edinburgh snakes

A Scottish animal welfare charity has launched an appeal to find homes for eight snakes residing in Edinburgh.

Mike Flynn, chief superintendent of the Scottish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), said that the eight rescue snakes, which are currently in the care of the Edinburgh Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre, would require specialist care.

He warned that the reptiles’ long lifespan makes them a lifelong commitment and any prospective owners must have the correct setup.

“If the snakes become ill, then they will need to be seen by a vet specialising in exotic animals,” Flynn said. “Of course, our staff are always happy to give advice and support to new owners, especially if it’s their first time owning a reptile.”

The team at Scottish SPCA also note that regular human interaction is key to these snakes making great pets.

The eight snakes, named Stu, Steve, Scout, Smith, Grace, Scorch, Coto and Clarence, are all corn snakes, a species of rat snake. Originally from North America, corn snakes are commonly kept as pets due to their docile nature and moderate size.

Clarence the snake (Credit: SPCA)

Many people often overlook snakes as pets, which is why many need a home, explains Diane Aitcheson, manager of their current residence.

“The majority of people coming to the centre are generally looking for a more traditional furry companion, not necessarily a snake,” Aitcheson told EN4 News.

“Poor Clarence has spent almost 1,300 days in our care. He’s feisty and a fussy eater, so he’s looking for an experienced owner who can monitor his weight.”

Many of the snakes found at the centre have been injured and therefore require great care and careful handling by any future owners.

(Credit: EN4 News)

“Scorch was found as a stray with an injury which sadly resulted in him having the tip of his tail amputated,” Aitcheson went on to say. “This hasn’t held him back, and he’s incredibly friendly, happily slithering in and out of your fingers before resting over your arm.”

“All of these snakes could make brilliant companions for the right owner. We always say rescue pets make great pets and these corn snakes are no exception,” she concluded.

For more information on rehoming any of the snakes, contact the Scottish SPCA’s centre in Edinburgh on 03000 999 999.

 

Roadworks cause bin controversy in Stockbridge

Stockbridge residents have accused Edinburgh Council of “making excuses” for not collecting overflown rubbish bins on schedule.

The council released a statement this week explaining that the ongoing gasworks in the area have resulted in them being unable to collect the kerbside bins due to lorries being too large to fit alongside the construction work.

Local residents are disgusted by the overflow, with black bags spilling out onto the pavement in some places, and multiple reports of rats being spotted.

Overflowing bins (Credit: EN4 News)

“It’s just the council making excuses again,” said Eleanor McBride, who has lived on Raeburn Place for over 30 years.

“Other big vans and lorries can get down the street just fine so why can’t the bin lorries?”

Companies that have their rubbish collected by private companies have been largely unaffected despite using bin lorries that are much the same size as those used by the council.

Nadine Watson, manager of Holland & Barrett, whose bins are privately collected said: “Even though our bin isn’t being emptied every day now, it’s still being picked up maybe every two or three days.”

While the ongoing works have caused some disruption for businesses, the impact has not been as destructive as initially expected, some local shops have told EN4 News.

Privately owned collection lorry in Stockbridge (Credit: EN4 News)

Jennifer Feeney, assistant manager of pet store Just Dogs, explained that the company was braced for drastic losses, but that sales have been “about the same as usual for this time of year.”

The works on Raeburn Place are set to continue for another 20 weeks, and traffic will continue to be disrupted, with westbound traffic diverted for the remainder of the construction.

EN4 News have contacted Edinburgh Council regarding the issue and are awaiting a response

Get ready to ‘LOVE Gorgie Farm’ – Beloved family attraction set to reopen this weekend

Gorgie City Farm is set to reopen its doors tomorrow under the new name LOVE Gorgie Farm.

Improvements have already been completed to the beloved family attraction, after the farm was bought over by Scottish mental health charity LOVE Learning in January 2020.

This was following the farm announcing its liquidation in November 2019.

Speaking exclusively to EN4 News, Lorna Murphy, LOVE Learning’s Project Manager of Education services in East Lothian and Edinburgh City, explained what visitors can expect to see upon Gorgie Farm’s reopening.

“We’re making improvements to tie in with our ethos of inclusion. We are completing the disabled access to make it accessible for everyone,” Murphy said.

He plans to have a rotation of the animals on display to allow them to retire at an older age with the security of having younger creatures to bring in and grow up on the farm.

LOVE Learning has also proposed introducing animal and forest therapy as an educational package for children and those suffering from anxiety and mental health issues.

“People gain a lot of nurture and comfort from animals and by caring for something else – their mind can be taken off of personal issues,” Murphy continued.

Gorgie Farm will reopen to the public this weekend (Credit: EN4 News)

The reopening celebrations are due to take place tomorrow afternoon.

Tickets sold out rapidly and some of those in attendance include Hibs and Hearts footballers, rugby players and politicians.

Edinburgh Charity, Dads Rock, have been asked to assist LOVE Learning in reopening Gorgie Farm to the public tomorrow.

Thomas Lynch, the service manager of Dads Rock, told EN4 News of how they were frequent visitors to Gorgie Farm.

“Like most people in Edinburgh, we were devastated when we heard the farm was closing; the farm has meant so much too so many people over the years,” Lynch said.

In terms of what those attending the reopening celebrations can expect, Lynch says there is a lot to look forward to.

“We’ve got magicians, entertainers, face painting, a tombola, raffles, there’s a singer coming and we’ve got a piper. And that’s not even the half of it!”

It was also announced earlier this week that the money raised in a public fundraiser to ‘Save Gorgie Farm’ would be given to LOVE Learning upon the farm’s reopening.

Over £100,000 was raised in an attempt to prevent Gorgie Farm from closing indefinitely back in November 2019.

There was some deliberation over whether or not the money should be given to LOVE Learning, but on Thursday morning, it was announced that the charity would receive the entire sum to invest into Gorgie Farm’s upkeep and renovation.

Among those who campaigned to save Gorgie Farm, the Scottish Greens were very vocal in their desire to protect the attraction.

Alison Johnstone, Green MSP for Lothian, fought particularly hard in defence of the farm. Johnstone spoke to EN4 News about her delight at Gorgie Farm’s reopening.

“It is fantastic to see such a widely valued, much-loved community asset re-open, and so soon after it closed,” Johnstone added.

“This is a testament to the special place the farm has in the community and the hard work of everyone involved.”

Gorgie Farm will reopen tomorrow and remain open seven days a week with entry free of charge.

%d bloggers like this: