Freedom of Information requests.

Last year (18/7/08) we made a request under the Freedom of Information Act about the fees paid to the City of Edinburgh Council for use of the Meadows.

Here are the questions we asked:-

How much have the following organisations paid the City of Edinburgh Council for use of the Meadows in 2007 and 2008?

1. Taste of Edinburgh
2. Moonwalk
3. Urban Circus (Ladyboys etc.)
4. Funfair on the Meadows in August (John Evans)

A bond is taken from each of these organisations to cover damage to the Meadows. How much has been retained from each of these organisations for 07 and 08 from Taste of Edinburgh and Moonwalk, and 06 and 07 from Urban Circus and Evans Funfair to repair damage attributed to each event?

How much did the two "Greencrete" areas installed off Melville Drive to the events site cost? Was this done by the Council or outside contractors?

Here is the answer we received.

Organisation 2006 charge 2006 Bond 2006 retained 2007 charge 2007 Bond 2007 retained 2008 charge 2008 Bond 2008 retained
Moon Walk - - - 250 5,000 0 3,240 5,000 1,060
Taste of Edin - - - - 0 0 0 0 0
Urban Circus - 7,000 670 9,400 5,000 1,008 11,900 5,000 5,000
Evans Fun Fair - 5,000 0 5,600 5,000 388 5,300 2,000 750

Grasscrete   20456.74   (MW Ground Works Ltd)

This was prior to the Festival, so the bond retention was unknown. However we have filled in the missing figures from our most recent FOI question.

To that further FOI question placed recently we received the following reply:-

Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 - Provision of Information

Thank you for your request for information received on 12 May 2009. I have dealt with this in accordance with the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and enclose the information you requested.

Question: How much was deducted from Evans funfair bond and that of Urban Circus?
Answer: 750 from Evans and 5,000 from Urban Circus.

Question: Was there any additional money requested from either organisation to cover damage?
Answer: Yes.

Question: How much was requested, and how much paid?
Answer: 3,272 from Urban Circus, all was paid.

Question: How many days beyond the licence grant was the Urban Circus on site? Was any additional charge made? If so, how much was paid?
Answer: Urban Circus was on site for an additional 5 days and a charge of 1,700 was made and received.

Question: How many times has the area been reseeded after the initial reinstatement work? How has this been funded - by additional charges on the events, or out of Parks funds? Was it carried out by Council employees or external contractors? How much did it cost?
Answer: After the initial reinstatement works, further reinstatement and grass seeding took place in April 2009; this was part of the original contract and did not incur any other costs. Works was carried out by an external company, MW Groundworks.

We also asked the Urban Circus who comes to their shows, and they said it is mainly local people. That means very little of the money they spent went into the Edinburgh economy. Most (in excess of 1 million?) went to the Urban Circus.
This year The Ladyboys are scheduling 64 shows in a tent with a capacity of 640 people, each paying an average of 18 per ticket. They say they always sell out, so that makes a gross income of about 800,000 for the Edinburgh show. They are teaming up with Cirque Surreal this year, but we have no information on number of shows, tent capacity or ticket prices for them, so we can't do the sums. We can only guess that it will probably be a comparable total.