January 9 2008
Before Christmas Edinburgh City Council announced that there was a £10m black hole in the Children and Families department budget that would be filled from cuts in other departments. Cuts offered up in City Development include the City Design Champion post and sustainability unit in the planning department. If the cuts are agreed Terry Farrell’s post, as Design Champion, will be abandoned but Riccardo Marini’s post as Design Leader will be retained, minus support staff. The small sustainability unit will be absorbed into the main body of the planning department. Edinburgh’s City Development department has been the focus of considerable criticism among architects for its failure to provide strategic guidance for the development of the city, particularly at Edinburgh waterfront. The department is currently undergoing a number of significant senior staffing changes. David Anderson, currently the director of Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh and Lothian (SEEL), has been appointed as Director of City Development. Anderson will replace Andrew Holmes, the current director of City Development who will retire shortly. Alan Henderson, Head of Planning and Strategy, will also retire next year. It’s rumoured that the post occupied by Ian Spence, the former head of planning, who retired at the end of 2007, has been advertised internally.