Goalposts moved in the pitch for Accies revamp

Have your say

HOW could planning officials recommend the Edinburgh Accies scheme when they admitted it is inconsistent with some of the statutory notices they are employed to administer (see James Simpson’s letter, News, July 29)?

For example, under the local plan, the open green field character of the Inverleith Conservation Area should be preserved or enhanced, not built on.

The planners’ defence was to claim that the development would create a “new character”, giving a “new and attractive sense of place”.

Later in the report they insinuated a different defence by arguing, in effect, that the proposals would be a continuation of an old character, forming an enhancement of Stockbridge’s high street part of the New Town conservation area, which is mainly full of shops.

If shifting the goalposts won’t do, how about moving the pitch?

Alan Murphy, Learmonth Grove, Edinburgh

Princes Street is now a grubby experience

I HAD a walk into Princes Street on Saturday, and I was amazed how grubby and dirty it was.

Every single rubbish bin was overflowing. And there was also a burst pipe that was pouring out dirty water. On the street there were vendors giving out free drinks into little yellow cups that people were discarding anywhere on the street – what a mess.

Should they not be tasked with the responsibility of controlling this litter, for example ensuring people only consume the drink at the vendors’ area and use their rubbish bins?

Why are the bins overflowing? And this was at 2pm, heading into probably the busiest time of the day.

Should there not be some sort of patrol going round emptying the bins? I actually saw two men picking up litter in the gardens, but they were walking together, not a good use of resources.

Also, I had to go to the toilet but they were all closed. And why is the Ross Fountain not working?

David Ramsay, Edinburgh

Penalties can’t match Singapore

There is already a by-law forbidding spitting in the street (News, July 29). Our council would know this if it took the trouble to look.

Also in the by-laws are rules against begging. Nearly all of these petty rules being dreamt up are already in writing, as our modern councillors are not the first to imagine ways to empty our pockets.

Spitting is disgusting, but past laws were ignored much as this should be. To see real enforcement of laws like this you need to go to Singapore, where offenders can be caned in public.

A Morris, Pitt Street, Leith

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone

The majority of decent religious people will be horrified by revelations that the Church of England has invested in usurious lending companies.

Furthermore it would seem that their ethical advisers also allow investments in companies who make money from gambling, drinking, weapons manufacture and pornography so long as these areas account only for an acceptably small percentage of their turnovers : three per cent for pornography, ten per cent for weapons and 25 per cent for tobacco, gambling, alcohol and high interest rate lending.

If the Church of England were a non-established private organisation it would be nobody’s business how it invests and it would be accountable only to the consciences of its shareholders.

However, that from its privileged position it loftily prescribes abstinence from these activities while privately supporting them reminds us of its prime directive, which is less to do good work than propagate itself at all costs.

Until it is disestablished it is rightly held to account for this hypocrisy and reminded “let he who is without sin cast the first stone”.

Neil Barber, Edinburgh Secular Society, Saughtonhall Drive

Migrant situation is only going to worsen

Nearly half a million immigrants have been given taxpayer-funded homes between 2001 and 2011.

These figures were taken from the national census statistics.

There are now 1.2 million foreigners living in council or housing association properties and are costing the taxpayer between £5 billion and £8bn every year.

In 2006 the Labour Government’s Household Projection report stated that 4.8 million new houses were needed between 2003 and 2026.

The respected think-tank Migrationwatch accused that Government of deliberately hiding the impact of immigration from the public.

Migrationwatch revealed that the need for 65,000 houses to be built each year, which is 1.5 million or nearly a third of the total required, was specifically for immigrant families. This will only get worse.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

Fossil fuel financing is damaging the planet

Everyone is aware of the need to shift away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy – everyone, it seems, except the big energy companies, the banks that finance them, and the government.

The UK finance sector is bankrolling climate change, with shares in fossil fuels worth around £900 billion on the London Stock Exchange.

Not only are coal, oil and gas putting the planet and our future in danger, they are also devastating the areas in which they are extracted.

Frederik Huld, Montague Street, Edinburgh