Leith has once again come at the bottom of the poll from cleanliness; it appears we scored65 out of hundred because our streets are covered in dog shit, chip rappers and empty drinks containers. I can just hear the good citizens of the posher parts of Edinburgh, with their fingers pointing and tongues wagging ‘what can you expect from Leith’. Well, actually, as we now have the highest ratio of homeless hostels in Leith and the lowest ratio of street cleaners, as the city fathers decided to move them up to the city center so the tourist they so desperately need would not have to trip over humongous piles of crap. They employed a phalanx of wardens who would probably be better employed cleaning up, rather than chasing people over a dropped cigarette or sweetie paper; I don’t think I’ve actually seen one in about three months. What do they do? Perhaps the city fathers have removed them up to George Street and Princes Street to chase Japanese and American tourists, a spot fine here, a spot fine there to fill the coffers and pay for the taxi trips that our council seems so fond of taking.
Time for a campaign, I think something along the lines of ‘don’t mess with Leith’, it worked in Texas. We perhaps don’t have the superstars to stick on the posters but I rather like the sound of a “Don’t mess with Leith” campaign. It fits snugly with the hard edged profile of sunny Leith. We could have a few of the local hard men, making good use of their street corner time to growl and stare at any punter who drops rubbish on our admittedly (euphemism coming up here on) character strewn streets.
There is of course another option. Those of us who live, work and party in Leith could simply try to find a litter bin, if there are any left now, and use it.