Letters: Buildings’ function should be favoured ahead of form

This building, proposed for Union Street, has not met with approval from all concerned

This building, proposed for Union Street, has not met with approval from all concerned

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Have your say

I LIKE the practical and pragmatic view expressed by Andrew Morris (Letters, August 22) in his challenge to the excessive elevation of architectural purism and “modernism” by council planners (and others) over practical and achievable architectural solutions.

To be fair to the planners it is the elected councillors of the planning committee who are ultimate arbiters; some are over influenced by the mood in vogue with planners, some less so. They are ordinary citizens with their own characters, views and prejudices.

Certainly we need high standards of architecture. Nor should we rule out modern, even futuristic buildings. But the balance needs to tilt more in favour of achieving functional, practical buildings suitable for people. Too many communities still suffer from eyesores in their midst because of architectural purism which ignores practical realities.

Cllr Cameron Rose, Edinburgh Planning Committee

Royal waste must be addressed

Now that we are in a double-dip recession and dealing with savage and unfair austerity cuts, isn’t there something far wrong with those of us who think it is acceptable to waste taxpayers’ hard-earned money on privileged royals?

Unelected party animal Prince Harry, who has dressed up as a Nazi in the past, now likes a game of naked billiards, it would appear. According to his sycophantic followers he was only “letting off steam”. If he was a hard-pressed worker, I would say fair enough. This he is not and I object to him letting his hair down at my expense.

Post-independence, a progressive Scotland must address this royal waste. Could money that is squandered on our unelected and undemocratic monarch and her immature and privileged offspring be put to far better use in a modern Scotland? I think it could.

Jack Fraser, Clayknowes Drive, Musselburgh

Sounds like trams are short of kit

I WAS surprised to see in your latest article on trams an “official” being quoted to the effect that people won’t mind standing as most journeys will be short (News, August 23).

I wouldn’t have thought that the airport to the town centre was a short journey. There is also mention of there being only two wheelchair spaces and no mention of luggage racks.

Ian Lewis, Mayfield Terrace, Edinburgh

Builders should give us park life

FIRMS involved in building new home developments should be made to provide parks where children can play.

As it is, there is not enough provided for our young folk.

David Martin, Silverknowes, Edinburgh

In fuel poverty despite our riches

Last week the Scottish Government reported that fuel poverty levels were up seven per cent in Scotland to 800,000 households.

So news that Scottish and Southern Electric is to increase gas and electricity prices 
will send a shiver up the 
spine of many a struggling family.

It beggars belief that SSE hasn’t noticed its customers are going through the worst recession in 80 years as it proposes to increase bills by four times the rate of inflation.

On assuming office in 2007 First Minister Alex Salmond promised to eradicate fuel poverty in Scotland by 2015. His pledge now lies abandoned.

And before he points out energy policy is a reserved matter, it didn’t stop him making the pledge five years ago, and there is much he could now do.

He could join with me in pressing for gas and electricity bills to be capped. This latest nine per cent hike will inevitably lead to many more people in this country dying of cold- related illnesses.

He could insist power companies suspected of profiteering are prosecuted. He could argue for the winter fuel allowance to be doubled for vulnerable groups instead of cut in half. He could increase the level of investment in renewable energy to diversify away from the exorbitant cost of gas.

And he could join with the Scottish Socialist Party in calling for the power companies to be returned to public ownership to ensure no citizen is denied the heating they need in a country as rich as ours in the 21st century.

Colin Fox, national spokesman, Scottish Socialist Party, Edinburgh