Letters: City planners act like playground bullies

Pomegranate restaurant. Picture: Jane Barlow
Pomegranate restaurant. Picture: Jane Barlow
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ISN’T it just typical of our council? Picking on the Pomegranate restaurant for disrespect to a listed building (News, October 15) while, at the same time, letting school buildings, many of them fine specimens of good architecture, go to wrack and ruin.

Like a school playground bully, the city planners suck up to the big guys. And all the planning policies and conservation principles go out the window so planning consent can be granted for the latest money-making monstrosity (money-making for them, money-losing for us).

Traffic cones. Pic: Comp

Traffic cones. Pic: Comp

As sure as the tram project, we need to put a stop to it before the fast diminishing beauty of this once fair city is finally lost behind a conglomeration of electrical pylons, glass-box hotels and unnecessary sports stadiums.

Alan Murphy, Learmonth Grove, Edinburgh

All to play for in vote over independence

With the SNP conference in full swing there will be one thing on everyone’s mind of course – the independence referendum – and can the Yes campaign catch its rival?

There is general agreement that the No campaign have a healthy lead over their Yes counterparts, from a believable ten per cent to a rather unbelievable 30 per cent. For many commentators it is all over bar the shouting, despite there being just under a year to go.

Actual referendums on independence are thin on the ground. The closest to the Scottish situation is of course the Quebec referendum of 1995 and that produced a narrow win for the No campaign – No: 50.58 per cent/Yes: 49.42 per cent.

However it is the results from surveys leading up to the Quebec poll that raise questions as to what the final referendum result will be. In Quebec the No campaign were enjoying consistently healthy leads in the months leading up to the ballot. Six weeks before the vote, support for independence – or sovereignty – was only 35.7 per cent. Two weeks later, the Yes campaign began to eat into the lead and had reduced it to ten points.

With three weeks to go, some pollsters began recording leads for Yes, and with 21 days to go until the actual ballot almost every pollster gave the Yes campaign a narrow lead. It scared the Canadian Government which mounted a sustained and quite nasty campaign in the final weeks, eventually winning by 1.16 per cent.

More recently a referendum held in Ireland highlighted the dangers of relying on polls when the Irish government’s option for abolition the Senate was defeated by 51.7 per cent to 48.3 per cent.

Only six days before the actual ballot, an Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll found abolition was “backed by 62 per cent with only 38 per cent in favour of retaining”.

There is all still to play for in the independence referendum and those who believe the result is a foregone conclusion should look to history and think again.

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh

How long does it take to repair our roads?

Is anyone in the council responsible for overseeing resurfacing roadworks in Edinburgh?

We recently had Broomhouse Crescent resurfaced with signs advising that the road would be one-way only for ten weeks.

Leaving aside the fact that the job took more than ten weeks in the end, why should such a task take such a long period of time in the first place?

Now we have resurfacing at Stenhouse Cross being resurfaced each night from 19.00 to 06.00 each weekday for three weeks.

Apart from the fact that there are roads in a worse state of disrepair in Edinburgh, why on earth is a simple small job like this given a time span of three weeks? It’s a piece of nonsense.

Instead of smugly patting themselves on the back for the near completion of a botched-up tram system that was never and never will be necessary, perhaps the council should be looking at tasks like the above and querying why they are taking so long and no doubt at a high cost.

David Bruce, Saughton Road North, Edinburgh

Lovely tribute to the troops from bikers

PRAISES to all the big-hearted bikers who hit the road after gathering to pay tribute to serving troops and those who have died (News, October 15).

War Torn Troops Remembered, a group which supports Poppy Scotland, made its second annual |Ride with Respect trip on Sunday.

What a lovely tribute in remembrance of our war dead.

June Fleming, Hercus Loan, Musselburgh

It’s time to get rid of these useless turbines

The global consumption of coal is expected to rise by 25 per cent by 2020 driven by growth in China and India.

China’s demand will alone propel the growth of coal as the dominant global fuel. The US is exporting coal all over the world and Europe is by far the largest importer.

Europe is again rapidly increasing its reliance on coal for electricity.

Germany is the worst offender and is building 27 new coal plants as it shuts down nuclear reactors.

The rapidly expanding economies in the East are turning to coal since it is cheaper and far more reliable than oil or renewable energy sources.

None of these coal plants will be built with Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). So why is CCS a legal requirement for coal generators in the UK, despite the fact the technology does not yet exist on a commercial scale? A UK economic death wish?

Despite the green zealots talking about carbon emissions and global warming, no-one is interested in their dubious disaster scenarios. Time to ditch the Climate Change Act 2008 and useless wind turbines

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow