Letters: Capital needs a concert arena to rival Glasgow

The Hydro. Picture: John Devlin
The Hydro. Picture: John Devlin
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Have your say

Sometimes it takes someone furth of Scotland and Edinburgh to say the obvious in only a few words. I was telling my good Polish friend on Friday – he and his wife have been here eight years – about the Radio 1 Big Weekend in Glasgow. Instantly he said: “It all happens in Glasgow.”

There was no comeback I could give, except to agree. What an indictment of our status as a European capital city.

Edinburgh’s music spaces have been allowed to wither by speculators and local politicians. When was the last time you heard councillors beat the drum for venues, promoters and acts?

We have lost so much with no replacements on the horizon.

Well, Argyle House, that unloved building in the Grassmarket, is up for sale and should be demolished. Previously I’ve read in the News of an idea for creating a new arts complex on the site. Great. Have a small arena at King’s Stables Road level with more arts, culture and gallery spaces above. Get Creative Scotland offices in so they can “get down and dirty”.

It all needs the political vision and importantly the will to see such a project through. Councillors, please speak up now to the News with your views. Us Edinburgh folk deserve that at least.

Graham Davidson, Edinburgh

Wordplay is used to confuse the people

Most people believe that privatisation is a backward step, where provision of services in most cases is second to making profits. Yet the government and some local authorities are still selling off services. They are aware the word “privatisation” is a no-no, so the term now used is “out-sourcing”, yet the outcome is exactly the same.

Another word being used to “confuse” people, in relation to protecting land from developers, is “safeguarding”. It should mean exactly that but in actual fact it means reserving the land for future development. Confused? Taken in? That’s the point.

Wordplay can and does have serious consequences.

Mr A Delahoy, Silverknowes Gardens, Edinburgh

Mr Rose’s personal life isn’t city business

I refer to the letter in the Evening News on Monday, May 19 from Cllr Cameron Rose, City Chambers, Edinburgh and his personal experience of a tradesman who offered a discount for cash and him referring to this as unfair and illegal practice. Many small businesses are paid cash and the monies paid into a bank account to pay bills and tax and balance cash books.

I find it odd that Cllr Rose uses the City Chambers as reference for his personal experience and wonder if this is the view of Edinburgh council or should he not refer to himself as “Mr Rose, Edinburgh” for personal letters?

Douglas Wood, Limefield, Edinburgh

Tolerance is a two-way street

I think that some readers will be surprised to read secular campaigner Garry Otton demanding apologies from Brian Souter or anyone else.

Mr Otton would be better to apologise for what many will see as his own intolerant remarks and quotes over the years, which show deep intolerance of the genuinely held views and beliefs of other people.

These include the remark that “...I hope we can get rid of the churches now...” and (regarding a TV history of Christianity) “...should be re-named ‘the vile history of Christianity’” and referring to the Catholic church as a “vile institution”.

Mr Otton should be apologising widely for his intolerant remarks and Tweets to others.

Gus Logan, York Road, North Berwick

Council must live with its spending decisions

The story about the council’s funding deficit more than doubling to £22m (News, May 9) really made my blood boil. This council has made so many poor spending decisions, recklessly disregarding residents’ views to entice tourists with festivals and vainglorious tram lines (sorry, make that line).

A quote in the story reads: “Cllr Gavin Corbett said that increased borrowing was inevitable to fund vital services and repairs.” Really? So the council makes poor decisions about what to spend taxpayers’ money on and then when it falls through they look to taxpayers to bail them out.

The council chose to spend millions on a tram rather than on school repairs, efficient rubbish collection services, care for the elderly . . . the list of services that should surely have taken priority is endless. So no more borrowing or raising of more council tax – the council made their poor spending choice, now let them deal with the consequences. Taxpayers don’t trust you with their money.

Helen K Gray, Murrayburn, Edinburgh

Wilson’s government closed Borders Railway

In your feature on the Shawfair development (News, May 20), mention is also made of the forthcoming opening of the new Borders Railway. The article states that this will be the first time the Borders will have a rail connection with Edinburgh “since the Thatcher years”.

The Thatcher years can be blamed for many things, but not the closure of the Borders Railway. That was perpetrated by Harold Wilson’s Labour Government of 1966-70.

Mike Falchikov, Strathearn Road, Edinburgh

Taxpayers deserve truth

There is absolutely nothing that should remain “secret” between the US and UK governments in relation to the Iraq war because the taxpayer paid for this illegal disaster and we should be entitled to see everything that relates to it.

Alan Lough, Boroughdales, Dunbar, East Lothian