Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Edinburgh council leader orders urgent action over dumped memorial benches

Benches Pic: Angie Brown
Image caption Six memorial benches have been removed to make way for Edinburgh's Christmas market

Edinburgh's council leader has ordered urgent action after memorial benches were moved and piled up to make way for the capital's Christmas market.

The benches were dumped at the edge of the market in East Princes Street Gardens.

They are understood to cost thousands of pounds and families donate them to the park in memory of loved ones.

Christmas market operator Underbelly said they were handled respectfully.

However, City of Edinburgh Council leader Adam McVey said: "This is not how we treat memorial benches. I've asked for this to be dealt with urgently."

Ashley Graczyk, councillor for Edinburgh's Gorgie and Sighthill ward, said: "It is an immensely unacceptable way to treat memorial benches. I have also contacted the relevant senior officer to monitor this situation closely and to start a review to prevent this from happening again."

Image caption One of the benches toppled over on the slope where they were left

It comes after council officials confirmed the market would open on 16 November despite not having planning permission.

Officials said planning consent would be applied for retrospectively so the market could open on time.

An Underbelly spokeswoman said: "During the installation some things need to be temporarily moved to protect them while there is a lot going on in a confined space.

"They are put back as soon as possible and usually within the day.

"The memorial benches are handled respectfully and were placed on one of the banks during this process."

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