Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Compulsory Sales Orders – Solving a problem, or just moving it along?

I spotted earlier news about Compulsory Sales Orders (CSOs) recently.

Wasn’t particularly impressed then, still not.

Forcing someone to sell a property (assuming it even sells at such a forced auction) could just shuffle an empty property from one owner to another, unless the CSO is made complex and has many requirements to be met. And I note the proposal even suggested returning it to the original owner if it is still empty after 3 years.

Sounds like another scheme to make lawyers/solicitors/agents/auctioneers rich – but not really tackle property/housing issues.

Maybe making it easier/cheaper to sell property would be a better idea, perhaps along the lines of…

Shaheena Din: How to get empty homes onto the housing market

More ‘carrot’, and less ‘stick’?

Edinburgh would seem to be getting ready to make a pre-emptive strike against vacant properties before this arrives (if it ever does) and serve Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPO) on owners of empty houses.

Sounds better, at least they’d be obliged to pay a decent market price.

And then the council would own the derelict, and have to find the money to make it habitable or worth renting, AND be responsible for its upkeep.

That should be fun, since most councils are cash-strapped these days – or does Edinburgh have a magic money-pot?

I’m always impressed by the people who jump up and down and whine about empty properties and demand someone do something.

But they never do anything else other than make a noise, threaten others do something ‘or else’, nor do they turn up with the bottomless purse that most empty property owners wish they had.

Oh well.

Owners to be forced to sell empty homes in Edinburgh

One to watch.

Council set to seize empty homes from owners to tackle Edinburgh’s housing crisis

Derelict House

Derelict House


01/09/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , , | Leave a comment

There was this bike

One of those things I’d seen a pic of years ago, but had forgotten all about, with not even the foggiest idea where it was.

Then I tripped over it last night.

This is ‘BANKIES BIKE’ (don’t ask about the apostrophe – it was too dark and too faded for me to see for sure, I may look closer in daylight one day), which was an unexpected find just as I reached the Forth and Clyde Canal and was about to turn around and head back home.

There’s surprisingly little about it to be found online.

I know it was a sculpture commissioned to mark regeneration of the surrounding area some years ago, by the local council, but although I found a link to the sculptor’s web site, which promised details – it’s dead.

So, I got lucky and some kind person had parked their little car right beside it, so you can get a good idea of the size and scale of this thing.

It even had a D-Lock to help prevent it being stolen (and thrown in the canal) – but that MIGHT not be needed for his particular bike.

Bankies Bike

Bankies Bike

I thought I’d pull back a little, for little more context, but I kind of missed out the Forth and Clyde Canal, which was running just along the bottom of this wider view. The vertical thing on the right is actually a bike-counter sign seen side on, which shows an active count of the number of bikes passing on the canal path.

Bankies Bike Location

Bankies Bike Location

A closer look at the sign on the left, the stone at the bottom of the blue sign with the distances marked is for the Forth and Clyde canal.

Forth And Clyde Canal Signs

Forth And Clyde Canal Signs

Another sign just along from this one gave some more distances, with the one showing 9 miles back to Glasgow being the one that interested me. However, I wasn’t going back that way, just being nosey.

Interesting to note the 1/4 mile difference between them – obviously the folk that installed these two signs never spoke to one another. Or looked at one another’s work. They are NOT 1/4 mile apart.

Trust me, I know what 440 yards looks like, and there’s not much more than 40 feet between them.

Forth And Clyde Canal Other Signs

Forth And Clyde Canal Other Signs

01/09/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Today is Ginger Cat Appreciation Day

01 September is Ginger Cat Appreciation Day.

While I have a ‘thing’ for black cats (more so when I learned some creeps use their colour as a reason to abuse them), ginger cats can have some of the best markings in their orange strips, referred to as ginger tabby, and sometimes with a mix of white too.

A 1973 book published by Pedigree Foods described ginger tabbies as “quiet, docile and affectionate”, and a study at the University of California, where cat owners were asked to attribute personality traits to their cats, found that orange cats were most often characterized as friendly.

Another stereotype comes from the media, with the famous ginger Garfield being portrayed as irascible. Also, the gene for ginger is linked to gender, with around three out of four ginger cats being males. Any intact male will exhibit certain behaviours, including roaming and less interest in hunting. However, if your ginger tabby is loved and socialised, you can be pretty sure he’ll be loving and affectionate.


Sleeping Ginger

Sleeping Ginger

01/09/2018 Posted by | Civilian | | 5 Comments


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