Labour fails to put brakes on Midlothian Council HQ car park plans

Alex Bennett & Margot Russell (Lab) outside Midlothian Council HQ, Buccleuch Street, Dalkeith

Alex Bennett & Margot Russell (Lab) outside Midlothian Council HQ, Buccleuch Street, Dalkeith

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Labour councillors have hit out at proposals to turn land earmarked for housing into a car park for staff and visitors to the local authority HQ.

Midlothian Council has submitted plans to Historic Scotland to demolish outbuildings at 34C Buccleuch Street, Dalkeith, to allow parking for 24 cars.

In 2011, the council, then Labour controlled, identified the site for 12 one-bedroom studio flats in a bid to tackle the effects of the bedroom tax.

At a recent full council meeting, Labour councillors were unsuccessful with a motion halting the car park plans.

Afterwards, Councillor Margot Russell (Lab) said: “The council cares more about cars than people.

“When Midlothian has such a huge (housing) waiting list, it is unbelievable that the SNP administration has decided to prioritise parking for councillors and officials over the needs of the people they represent.”

Councillor Bennett, who seconded Councillor Russell’s motion, said there were 1200 parking spaces in Dalkeith, including supermarkets.

“There is (council) parking at the old Dalkeith High School but they are too lazy. They don’t want to walk up the road.”

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