I note from the pages of Regeneration + Renewal, that the City of Edinburgh Council are embroiled in a complex legal fight to evict a community organisation from premises in the Craigmillar area of the city.
The Capacity Building Project, whose website tells us that they offer “.. local people the skills, resources and support they need to participate as fully as possible in developments and activities that affect Craigmillar.” is currently housed in the buildings under the terms of a long lease. However, the Council served an eviction notice back in November 2008, claiming that it needed the office space back to accommodate its own staff instead.
Legal action which initially began in the Sheriff Court, has now progressed to the Court of Session and a 4 day hearing has been set for 30 November 2010.
The group who are being represented by counsel on a pro-bono basis, will argue that argue that the Council have breached their equality duties. In particular, they claim that the Council have breached their race equality duty because it had failed to consult with minority ethnic groups, including Turks and Kurds, which use the centre as a meeting place and Mosque.
This argument may have the support of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, who appear to have intervened in the action “to advise the court on what exactly public sector bodies must do in order to fulfil these duties.”
Adding further to the complexity of the case are claims made by the group about the title conditions. It is said that when the Council acquired the building from the University of Edinburgh over 70 years ago, conditions were imposed which stated that it should be used to further “social, educational or recreational purposes”.
We await the hearing with interest.