By SHAUN MILNE
A SCOTS council plans to spend £2.2 million protecting hundreds of empty homes it plans to bulldoze over the next few years anyway.
City fathers in Edinburgh are advertising a contract to board up doors and windows across 1700 homes prior to them being demolished.
The four-year contract is aimed at preventing the empty houses being broken into or vandalised.
Properties in the Gracemount, Sighthill and Pilton areas are among those earmarked.
But opposition parties had ridiculed the move saying either the property should be razed sooner or converted into temporary accommodation for the homeless.
Tory housing spokeswoman Councillor Kate MacKenzie said: “I would really like to see how the council has arrived at this figure as it does seem like a lot.
“I might be being a bit simplistic, but you would imagine that certainly with the tower blocks they would only have to board up the first few floors.”
Councillor Gordon Munro, housing spokesman for Labour, said: “It sounds like they will be getting a gold-plated job for that sort of money.
“If they are boarding up properties which are due for demolition they should look at speeding up the demolition programme.”
The contract will also include some provision in 24-hrs cover for boarding up property as well as installing temporary alarms on some.
A council spokesman said: “Empty homes can attract break-ins and vandalism including fireraising.
“The primary purpose of these measures is to ensure that neighbouring residents are protected when homes become empty.”