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Thread: Save Leith Walk

  1. #31
    First Team Regular Chic Murray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
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    Good points Chic, well said.

    I'm thinking Leith could turn into what's become of Edinburghs Hogmany. It's ended up being nothing to do with Edinburgh or Hogmany! Thousands of tourists standing around after the Bells wondering what to do next, doing nothing and going back to their hotels at 00:15. The city centre becomes a wasteland just as the locals are heading oot tae first foot!

    Too many tourists have taken over, I think I heard the other week local folk make up only 17% of those attending. It's ended up with no famous party and the organisers are desperate to re-engage with the locals.

    We could end up with no 'Leithers' in Leith.
    It's been creeping for the last 10 years, but gathered a real head of steam in the last two.

    No doubt land is getting traded on the basis it will be on the tram route. Hence the council's desperation to push the thing through at the expense of services.

    Do you know that tax breaks on student accommodation mean that the council tax payer funds all of the infrastructure for them?

    I just hope that campaign to save Leith Depot can force some changes and get some momentum towards getting the rest of our city back.


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  3. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chic Murray View Post
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    It's been creeping for the last 10 years, but gathered a real head of steam in the last two.

    No doubt land is getting traded on the basis it will be on the tram route. Hence the council's desperation to push the thing through at the expense of services.

    Do you know that tax breaks on student accommodation mean that the council tax payer funds all of the infrastructure for them?

    I just hope that campaign to save Leith Depot can force some changes and get some momentum towards getting the rest of our city back.
    What tax breaks are those?

    Are you saying that no developer contributions are paid when student housing is built?

  4. #33
    First Team Regular Chic Murray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyeSloan View Post
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    What tax breaks are those?

    Are you saying that no developer contributions are paid when student housing is built?
    By the sound of it, you know as much, if not more than me.

    My understanding is that the students don't pay Council Tax, the owners don't pay business rates or corporation tax (not a local issue admittedly), and the tourists they let them out to in the holidays don't pay any visitor tax.

    If this is right, the other council tax payers pay for the water, rubbish collection, emergency services etc.

    Thus profits are made all round, which leave the city, whilst its services are depleted year on year, as the council tax payers support other people's lifestyle.

    These transient residents can very quickly change the aspirations and values of an area, because of the change in the age mix and socio economic mix. By their very nature students and tourists are net users of services, they will have invested little in the city before arrival, and will invest nothing in it after they leave it.

    Yet, they are allowed full access to services, and the right to take part in the democratic process through elections. Students and transient residents (people who typically sty in Edinburgh for five years) form a significant part of our population, they take part in decisions that effect us all, but which they will neither pay for long term, or deal with the consequences of any mistakes.

    To them a tram is a good thing, why not? It does not matter to them that it will come at the cost of schools, or other forms of public transport. More festivals and entertainment? Of course, we're here to have a good time, who cares if it means people taking more circuitous routes to get to their work. Rehouse poor people elsewhere? Of course, they scare us, and we want cool types like ourselves in the bars, let the council tax payers deal with the social costs.

    I don't want to get into a big debate about tax, or the rights and wrongs of this situation. The original question was about why I felt that change in the Leith area is a bad thing, and I stick by my view that it has happened to rapidly, and is almost a form of apartheid, with the original residents (whether people think their lives were desirable, or not) decanted to new townships out on the sea at Western Harbour.
    Last edited by Chic Murray; 28-06-2018 at 07:13 AM.

  5. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chic Murray View Post
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    By the sound of it, you know as much, if not more than me.

    My understanding is that the students don't pay Council Tax, the owners don't pay business rates or corporation tax (not a local issue admittedly), and the tourists they let them out to in the holidays don't pay any visitor tax.

    If this is right, the other council tax payers pay for the water, rubbish collection, emergency services etc.

    Thus profits are made all round, which leave the city, whilst its services are depleted year on year, as the council tax payers support other people's lifestyle.

    These transient residents can very quickly change the aspirations and values of an area, because of the change in the age mix and socio economic mix. By their very nature students and tourists are net users of services, they will have invested little in the city before arrival, and will invest nothing in it after they leave it.

    Yet, they are allowed full access to services, and the right to take part in the democratic process through elections. Students and transient residents (people who typically sty in Edinburgh for five years) form a significant part of our population, they take part in decisions that effect us all, but which they will neither pay for long term, or deal with the consequences of any mistakes.

    To them a tram is a good thing, why not? It does not matter to them that it will come at the cost of schools, or other forms of public transport. More festivals and entertainment? Of course, we're here to have a good time, who cares if it means people taking more circuitous routes to get to their work. Rehouse poor people elsewhere? Of course, they scare us, and we want cool types like ourselves in the bars, let the council tax payers deal with the social costs.

    I don't want to get into a big debate about tax, or the rights and wrongs of this situation. The original question was about why I felt that change in the Leith area is a bad thing, and I stick by my view that it has happened to rapidly, and is almost a form of apartheid, with the original residents (whether people think their lives were desirable, or not) decanted to new townships out on the sea at Western Harbour.
    No it was a genuine question as I wasnít quite sure what you were referring to and I wasnít fully cognisant of the tax implications.

    Anyhoo you prompted me to do a bit of research which goes as follows:

    No students living in their own accommodation pay council tax whether they are in one of these propose built efforts, halls or privately rented. Whether you are with that or not itís not unique to these student blocks.

    Business rates...that one Was a bit of a surprise to me and on he face of it it makes no sense to me why these purpose built blocks are not treated as a business. I suspect it comes from the days where bespoke student accommodation was largely the domain of the Uni halls of residence but also now applied to commercially financed and built student accommodations.

    Corp tax. I knew this already but itís not entirely accurate as I believe Corp tax would be payable this unless the company is a REIT. REITís donít pay corporation tax as the property income is taxed at the shareholder level. This is sensible otherwise there would be a double layer of taxation and is designed to roughly be equivalent to the same level of taxation as if the shareholder held the property directly.

    Developers do, as far as I am aware, pay developer contributions.

    So itís a mixed bag really when it comes to Ďtax breaksí and Iím not convinced (business rates apart) that any of them are strong arguments against purpose built student accommodation.

  6. #35
    First Team Regular Chic Murray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyeSloan View Post
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    No it was a genuine question as I wasnít quite sure what you were referring to and I wasnít fully cognisant of the tax implications.

    Anyhoo you prompted me to do a bit of research which goes as follows:

    No students living in their own accommodation pay council tax whether they are in one of these propose built efforts, halls or privately rented. Whether you are with that or not itís not unique to these student blocks.

    Business rates...that one Was a bit of a surprise to me and on he face of it it makes no sense to me why these purpose built blocks are not treated as a business. I suspect it comes from the days where bespoke student accommodation was largely the domain of the Uni halls of residence but also now applied to commercially financed and built student accommodations.

    Corp tax. I knew this already but itís not entirely accurate as I believe Corp tax would be payable this unless the company is a REIT. REITís donít pay corporation tax as the property income is taxed at the shareholder level. This is sensible otherwise there would be a double layer of taxation and is designed to roughly be equivalent to the same level of taxation as if the shareholder held the property directly.

    Developers do, as far as I am aware, pay developer contributions.

    So itís a mixed bag really when it comes to Ďtax breaksí and Iím not convinced (business rates apart) that any of them are strong arguments against purpose built student accommodation.
    Thanks.

    The bottom line is a lot of people are coming in and out of the city, taking services for nothing, and the city council appears to be basing its policies on giving them the best deal possible.

    Yes, students need accommodation, but does Edinburgh need so many students?

    The answer lies in who is really running the city.

  7. #36
    @hibs.net private member CropleyWasGod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chic Murray View Post
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    Thanks.

    The bottom line is a lot of people are coming in and out of the city, taking services for nothing, and the city council appears to be basing its policies on giving them the best deal possible.

    Yes, students need accommodation, but does Edinburgh need so many students?

    The answer lies in who is really running the city.
    The Universities are important contributors to the City, both in employment and tax terms. The students themselves are a steady, almost guaranteed, source of spending in local businesses. Businesses who pay rates, and whose owners pay Council Taxes.

    On the flip side, one of the arguments about local services is that, often, those who use the services pay little or nothing towards them. It's a generalisation, sure, but those who pay the most in tax are less likely to use Council-funded services like schools and buses.

  8. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chic Murray View Post
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    Thanks.

    The bottom line is a lot of people are coming in and out of the city, taking services for nothing, and the city council appears to be basing its policies on giving them the best deal possible.

    Yes, students need accommodation, but does Edinburgh need so many students?

    The answer lies in who is really running the city.
    Who is really running the City?

    Iím also not sure about what you expect from a Capital City...cities by their nature attract people from outside and will always have some transient population.

    Indeed considering this conversation is based around Leith Walk itís slightly ironic to think that the port of Leith back in the day was probably Ďhomeí to a vast number of transient people coming and going with the ships and the different industries around them. Some who will have stayed and given it its unique character in the first place.

    Back then it was maybe more sailors and manual labourers etc now itís more students and professionals but I would suggest thatís maybe more down to general societal and economic trends than any nefarious control or deliberately anti resident policies of Edinburgh Council.

  9. #38
    @hibs.net private member Mon Dieu4's Avatar
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    I live as close as you can get to this new development and although I'm not anti change I am anti over saturation of student accommodation, within a 5 minute walk we have already had 2 major student housing projects recently completed which has led to hundreds of students in a small area, They are doing it to make the best possible return for their shareholders and make a quick buck, previous people have spoken about the lack of parking and easier route to planning permission on buildings that are classed as non permanent residences, that's the nature of a business however it doesn't mean that it has to be agreed by locals or the council

    I'm not even actually a huge fan of the red stoned existing buildings as much as some which have not been fully inhabited as long as I've been alive and if they were replacing the building with a building with architectural significance rather than another soulless generic jigsaw then I'd be all for tearing it down and replacing it

    Out of all my friends growing up I am about the only one still left in Leith as everyone else has had to move away due to the lack of housing and the small number of so call affordable housing that have been built are still too expensive for them, these are people with good jobs and who earn a decent wage who are being priced out, I find it sad that people who grew up and lived their lives in an area can no longer afford to live there due to companies buying up land and playing the system to maximise revenue

    I'll admit that as a life long Leither I feel the place has lost a bit of its soul due to this and all the so called gentrification that's been going on, can't wait for yet another artisan coffee shop to be opened, I am open minded and pragmatic about change but I think there is a fine balance to it and that the scale is firmly going in the opposite direction than I'd like just now

    I also find it mental that a company with Fife Hyland involved in it would not have realised that this would be contentious to say the least, if anyone in business should be clued up on the local area then I would have thought that he would have understood that people from Leith although welcoming are proud of their heritage and don't want it to be diluted as much as it has been recently
    Last edited by Mon Dieu4; 29-06-2018 at 12:49 AM.

  10. #39
    First Team Regular Chic Murray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyeSloan View Post
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    Who is really running the City?

    I’m also not sure about what you expect from a Capital City...cities by their nature attract people from outside and will always have some transient population.

    Indeed considering this conversation is based around Leith Walk it’s slightly ironic to think that the port of Leith back in the day was probably ‘home’ to a vast number of transient people coming and going with the ships and the different industries around them. Some who will have stayed and given it its unique character in the first place.

    Back then it was maybe more sailors and manual labourers etc now it’s more students and professionals but I would suggest that’s maybe more down to general societal and economic trends than any nefarious control or deliberately anti resident policies of Edinburgh Council.
    I've lived here all my life it wasn't always like this.

    Transient people don't stay and give character, they move on after tinkering with the place to suit them and the transient they will sell to.

    It's not immigration.

    Edinburgh Council don't have the brains to be involved in nefarious schemes. Town council's never have.

    A trans global elite are behind.

    Anyway, I can speak with more authority about why I don't like the changes on the walk. It is blatant social engineering which leaves a sterile thoroughfare with none of the character it once had.

    What some people call jackeys, other people call the poor, or ordinary people. Just because they don't fit some people's marketing proposition doesn't mean they can be discarded in the way they are.

    That's all I want to say on this particular subject.
    Last edited by Chic Murray; 29-06-2018 at 06:46 AM.

  11. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chic Murray View Post
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    I've lived here all my life it wasn't always like this.

    Transient people don't stay and give character, they move on after tinkering with the place to suit them and the transient they will sell to.

    It's not immigration.

    Edinburgh Council don't have the brains to be involved in nefarious schemes. Town council's never have.

    A trans global elite are behind.

    Anyway, I can speak with more authority about why I don't like the changes on the walk. It is blatant social engineering which leaves a sterile thoroughfare with none of the character it once had.

    What some people call jackeys, other people call the poor, or ordinary people. Just because they don't fit some people's marketing proposition doesn't mean they can be discarded in the way they are.

    That's all I want to say on this particular subject.
    Discarded? Trans Global Elite? Hmm

    Anyway we agree on the ability of Councils at least

    As you say weíll leave it there as while I get your gist I donít think we are going to align on our thoughts on this one ☝️

  12. #41
    First Team Regular Chic Murray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyeSloan View Post
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    Discarded? Trans Global Elite? Hmm

    Anyway we agree on the ability of Councils at least

    As you say weíll leave it there as while I get your gist I donít think we are going to align on our thoughts on this one ☝️
    Thanks mate, it would be nice for others to carry on the discussion. I'm not saying I'm right, just how I feel.

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