Letters: City must make New Year resolution for Craigmillar

Parents, Pupils and local residents protest outside the Castlebrae Community High School. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Parents, Pupils and local residents protest outside the Castlebrae Community High School. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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THE city council’s ten-year strategy of market-led regeneration by its own property development company Parc has failed Craigmillar miserably.

Our communities are still top of the league table for deprivation – despite Parc receiving millions of pounds of public monies and land assets.

The only people to benefit from Parc’s regeneration work have been highly-paid consultants on whom much of the money has been squandered.

Not only are we not getting a new school, the existing school is to be closed with the buildings immediately demolished and the valuable land scandalously to be given over to Parc.

The last ten years have seen at least a dozen community support projects closed, with their funding taken over by the city council to protect bureaucrats’ jobs and build them a new luxurious office block costing £22 million.

As the bells ring in the New Year, the council’s resolutions for Craigmillar should be to stop this market-led disaster, sack Parc and to start again to sustainably grow our community on the basis of genuine co-operation and participation.

The objective should be that by the year 2020 Craigmillar will be a fully inclusive, thriving, integral part of Edinburgh’s rich economic, social and cultural life.

Lyndsay Martin, secretary, Craigmillar Labour

Pole position for statue of a bear

WHAT a terrific idea it would be to erect a statue of Wojtek the bear in Princes Street Gardens (News, December 28).

The activities of the bear with the Polish army in the Second World War make a terrific story, and it would be a great way to spread history as inquisitive children, and adults too, would want to know the background to such an unusual statue.

Despite originating in Persia, the bear spent years of his life as an attraction at Edinburgh Zoo, worth marking with a tribute statue.

It would also be a good way of recognising the links between Poland and Scotland, and there have been many Poles living and working in Edinburgh and the Lothians for some years now.

The only downside is not all would be happy to welcome a new animal statue going on show in the Capital. There’s a certain terrier who might find the competition for attracting visitors hard to “bear”!

A Barker, Albion Road, Edinburgh

More help needed with new homes

IT IS good news that Edinburgh and the Lothians are to receive more than £1 million to help private house owners renovate their properties in return for them being made available as affordable housing (News, December 28).

The only disappointing thing is that more housing cannot be made available – for example, Edinburgh has nearly 1500 such homes, and under the new scheme only 70 will be provided. But it is a start, and successful journeys begin with a step in the right direction.

Gavin Smith, Fairmilehead, Edinburgh

Festive television has been turn-off

WHAT a let-down the Christmas television offering has been.

Soap operas centring on death in one instance, and a wedding day disaster for its rival.

A dancing competition featuring has-beens and never-will-bes (go on, did you know who they all were?), hosted by a man famous for not telling a funny joke in a career that seems to have been going on since the dawn of time.

And the films on offer all seemed to have been on before.

Sorry to sound like a famous Charles Dickens character, but bah humbug to this year’s Christmas telly.

Walter Matthews, Slateford Road, Edinburgh

Councillor should consider loo role

I COULD hardly believe it when I read about a councillor who is alleged to have relieved himself in a car park having just voted to close public conveniences (News, December 27).

If this actually happened, then the man should ask himself if he is fit for representing the public.

I read a quote from a Midlothian Council spokesperson who said the matter would be concluded internally. Quite.

If everything of a private nature is done indoors, then everyone’s happy.

Bob Grant, Willowbrae Road, Edinburgh