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The LadyBoys of Bangkok told us this morning that they have a new home for this year’s Fringe. They said this made them very proud as they had created the show for the Fringe 21 years ago, that it has now been seen by over 3 million people. They were removed from previous sites in The Meadows and at Fountainbridge and said they will now be performing in Pilrig Park this year.

Their announcement states that they will put up their tent at Pilrig Park from 5 to 26 August 2019 following a council consultation between 14 December and 15 January, and a decision in their favour which was made on 17 January.

However they may have to think again according to local councillor Susan Rae.

Headshot Susan Rae
Green Group councillor Susan Rae

Leith Walk Green Party councillor and Convener of Leith Neighbourhood Partnership, Susan Rae told The Edinburgh Reporter : “I’m very disappointed at the appearance of this somewhat premature press release. 

“Once more, a decision has been made by council officers, under delegated powers, which local Councillors, the Leith Central Community Council and, most importantly, the Friends of Pilrig Park, are in complete disagreement with. 

“It is at odds with the regulations which set out that the Park cannot be used for events for periods of over 15 days, with best practice that consultation not be carried out over holiday periods, and the event will incorporate both bars and a restaurant, neither of which have yet been granted licences. 

“I don’t want those who love and cherish Pilrig Park to lose the use of it for a month of the summer, and, given a previous decision that the ground is too boggy to host the Mela for two days, the decision that it can sustain a large event like this for a month makes no sense at all.”

Cllr Alex Staniforth, Scottish Green Party spokesperson for Culture, Communities and Sport added : “That this decision has been made just a year after the controversy surrounding a big event damaging Sighthill Park is very worrying.

“An event of this scale over such a long period of time should have the consent of the local community. It seems the council have yet to learn any lessons regarding the overuse of green spaces for commercial purposes.”

The Green Group on The City of Edinburgh Council have requested that a motion be put to the North East Locality Committee on 31s January that given these circumstances the event does not proceed at Pilrig Park.