Thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money has again had to be spent on a landmark city church because its owner has said it cannot afford to repair it.
Edinburgh City Council has been forced to carry out around £7000 worth of urgent work to Lauriston Church.
The fresh bill comes on top of £18,000 worth of emergency work already carried out by the council.
It is understood the church in Lauriston Place is owned by the Arab Social League of Edinburgh.
The league - which represents about 100 locally-based families from countries, such as Algeria, Egypt and Saudi Arabia - bought the premises in 1982 and intended to turn it into a youth centre.
But a lack of cash has seen the building fall into disuse since then and it is suffering the effects of vandalism, litter and squatters.
Repeated letters by council officials warning the league to clean up the site were returned unopened after leading members of the organisation could not be contacted.
Council officials were then forced to pick up the bill for vital repairs after unsuccessfully ordering the league to sort out the problems in 1998 and again two years ago.
The money has gone towards securing the church from intruders, removing fire debris, pigeon waste and cleaning of guttering.
A council spokesman said the authority will attempt to recover the cost from the league.
Source: Evening News, 22nd February, 2003