Letters: At least respite centre gives value for taxpayers’ money

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IT was good to read that work is to begin on a respite centre for disabled children after a wait of eight years (News, May 31).

However, I can’t help but think this and many more worthy causes have suffered while countless amounts of taxpayers’ cash have been squandered on the tram system.

Schools, hospitals, libraries, repairs to roads, these are just a few examples of where our hard-earned cash could have been better spent than the great white elephant tram system.

The new respite centre will serve a good purpose, and will probably be completed on time. Will we be able to say these things about the tram project, I wonder?

A Barker, Albion Road, Edinburgh

Beaches are a sickening sight

YOU report that Dunbar East and Belhaven beaches have been awarded Rural Seaside Awards by Keep Scotland Beautiful (News, May 30), but there is effluence all along the coast of Dunbar.

This has to be looked into. Will it take some poor being to become ill before anything is done?

Alexander Lough, Dunbar, East Lothian

School protest is blowing smoke

WHO was behind the daft protest that saw schoolchildren dress up with sheep masks on to demand plain packaging for tobacco products (News, May 31)?

If it was the pupils themselves, I’d be the first to applaud a clever ruse to find a more interesting place to spend their time than in a classroom for a couple of hours, while getting to dress up and have a bit of a laugh.

I suspect, however, that it was the bright idea of some PC-focused dullard who thought this would be of benefit to children who, now more than ever, need as much time as possible to focus on much-needed but declining skills such as reading, writing and arithmetic.

Randall McLean, Portobello

Praise for helpers putting kids first

CHILDREN 1st would like to mark Volunteers Week (June 1-7) by recognising and celebrating the magnificent contribution that all our volunteers make to our charity and communities across Scotland.

Whether providing direct support to children, young people and families in our services, organising events through our Edinburgh Action Group, taking part in fundraising activities, working in our charity shop or giving their time anywhere else in the organisation, their support makes a huge difference to the lives of vulnerable children, young people and families.

Our national services include Safeguarding in Sport and ParentLine Scotland, a free, confidential helpline and e-mail service which provides a lifeline to parents, carers or anyone concerned about a child. More than 100 specially-trained volunteers deal with around 3000 calls a year. Anyone can call ParentLine on 08000 28 22 33 or e-mail parentlinescotland@children1st.org.uk

Working together we can keep putting children first.

Anne Houston, chief executive