Council plans to gentrify the shore front at Kirkwall by removing parking spaces and widen the pavement have caused some discontent amongst some traditional Kirkwallians. People are also concerned that the widened pavements will be used as continental style eating areas.
The objections raised to the outdoor tables and chairs being located on the paved areas have been mainly from a health and safety aspect. Community councillor Cygnet Swanson has referred councillors to the great storm of 1953 when winds of 120mph wheeshted across the islands decimating the counties hen population.
Mr Swanson, 79 said:
“Have these cooncilors no idea of what will happen to all the chairs and tables when the wind blows? Do they not know their history? “
But Cygnet Swanson’s pleas have failed to put a halt to progress hitting the town. Plans put before the council show that street furniture will be set in weathered concrete thus rendering them immovable.
Mr Swanson was joined in his condemnation of the shore front scheme by Mrs Flett McGinty who has focussed her anger on another area of the gentrification. She spoke at length to The Orkney News:
“Well its these statues that they are going to put up on top of the new sea wall of all the past leaders of the coouncil. I really dinnae think we should be idolising them in this way. A wee plaque maybe or just their head and shoulders but not these life size figures.”
A whistleblower at School Place told The Orkney News that the statues will cost up to £5,671 each depending on the size of the person depicted. They will form a processional walkway along the shore front so that locals and visitors alike can appreciate our local representatives.
It is thought that the statues will be very like the one of Scottish big wig politician Donald Dewar and be treated with the same reverence and appreciation.
Reporter: Fergus Graemsay