Letters: Colonies homes a positive model for city to build on

Artist's impression of colonies-style homes

Artist's impression of colonies-style homes

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I have been arguing for five years now that the “colonies” model offered a blueprint for housing development uniquely suited to the needs of Edinburgh in the 21st century.

The original colonies – now all more than 100 years old – combine the density needed for services, transport and community interaction with the aspiration many people have for main doors and a bit of garden.

That’s why I am delighted to see new colony-style housing planned in Edinburgh (News, May 28).

How ironic, however, that such a development is announced at the same time as a planning appeal has been lodged to insert a very large student block right in the midst of existing colony homes on Slateford Road.

City councillors on the planning committee rightly rejected this plan back in March.

Even at this late stage I believe the developer can come up with something which works much more with the grain of what is there.

Gavin Corbett, Green Councillor for Fountainbridge/ Craiglockhart

Revenue ideas are half-baked

NEWS that my favourite steak bakes are to be spared the VAT rise proposed in the UK Budget leaves an unanswered question.

The Government claimed that the imposition of VAT on these products was not about raising revenue, but about “fairness” to the hot food retailers who do have VAT levied on their sales – for example, fish suppers, pizzas or kebabs (although, in fairness, this government has problems understanding the word “fairness”).

Why should one retailer pay VAT on ready-to-eat hot food, and not another, they asked.

Having U-turned on taxing the high street baker’s hot offerings, the only way to provide a level playing field for the chippie and kebab shop – the alleged purpose of the change in the first place – would be to exempt them from VAT on their sales as well.

I can’t imagine how the Government will recoup the revenue loss it will thereby incur, but you can be sure it won’t be by putting up income tax for millionaires.

Watch out for the next new tax coming your way.

David Fiddimore, Nether Craigwell, Calton Road, Edinburgh

Greens bring a fresh approach

IT’S good now to have a group of six Scottish Green Party councillors on Edinburgh City Council.

I could not vote for the Greens in parliamentary elections because of their support for separatism, but on most other matters they bring a welcome fresh perspective to the work of the council where the sometimes stale policies of the older parties seem too often to prevail.

Norman Bonney, Palmerston Place, Edinburgh

Huge irony of SNP’s backers

THE irony of two American actors, who gave up their British citizenship to live in America and pay no taxes in Britain, telling us they want Scotland to break away from the rest of the UK is truly amazing.

Perhaps they might try to remember the old American phrase in reverse, no representation without taxation.

Mr Cumming tried to get round this by saying he would buy a flat in Scotland. But that does not entitle him to a vote – or does it under the SNP?

The sooner the electoral commission is in charge of this referendum and not the SNP the better.

Michelle Smythe, Dalry Road, Edinburgh

Enthusiasm for ‘Yes’ vote is high

PETER Siosal (Letters, May 28) can’t have many friends if he doesn’t know anyone who thinks Scotland should become a normal independent country just like Norway or the other progressive Scandinavian countries that have the best standards of living in the world.

Many of my friends were unable to get seats at the Yes Scotland launch as the 700 places were snapped up within hours of release, which illustrates there is great enthusiasm in Edinburgh for the people of Scotland to be in charge of Scotland’s future.

Janice Thompson, Walter Scott Avenue, Edinburgh