Broughton Scouts, who celebrate 100 years of local Scouting in 2019, have found themselves unprepared for sweeping changes to school janitor contracts resulting in the doors to their school hall being firmly locked after 6pm.
All sections of the Broughton group, some 75 young people, recently found themselves out on the street.
Scout Leader Scott Richards says, ‘From a leaked e-mail I’ve seen, it’s clear the Edinburgh Council had been planning these changes for months. But we only found out when we tried to return to local scouting after summer camp.
‘Our hall rentals had not been renewed, the letting department was totally unresponsive, and the doors to the school remained firmly locked.’
The same issue is affecting youth groups across the city, with hundreds of young people from clubs and associations now meeting outside or in temporary accommodation. One Guide Unit is currently using an empty city-centre office space.
As you read this, the Scouts and Beaver Scouts are being accommodated outside of Broughton at Greenside Church Hall, and the Cubs at Broughton St Mary’s Parish Church sanctuary – roofs over their heads but hardly suitable for scouting games.
Despite approaches from frustrated parents and leaders, the council are ‘unable to offer a solution’ far less explain why hall users weren't warned earlier to let them prepare for change.
It's very much to be hoped that Broughton’s homeless Scouts can be reunited soon and continue their proud tradition in this neighbourhood for another 100 years. Local councillors take note!