Letters: Council can’t stand still and miss out on Olympic bounce

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As Team GB rides the crest of the Olympic wave, attention now turns to delivering “the legacy” – identifying and developing potential stars, improving facilities and maximising opportunities for all to participate in sport at grassroot level.

That, at least, is the mantra of politicians and sport governing bodies basking in the reflected glory of our athletes.

One can understand, then, why some of this rhetoric may ring a little hollow as far as City of Edinburgh Basketball Club is concerned. The club, based at Portobello High School, has been campaigning for the past five years for the plans of the proposed new Portobello HS to replicate the games hall and gymnasium facilities at the existing school.

Unfortunately, the plans provide for a smaller gymnasium that will not accommodate a basketball court. This means that the most successful basketball club in the country faces the choice of either reducing its operations or seeking alternative additional facilities to sustain its 14 teams.

If ever there was an opportunity to demonstrate commitment to the Olympic legacy, this is surely it. The city council must revisit its short-sighted decision.

Sports clubs desperately need more facilities, not less. And they need to be affordable.

City of Edinburgh Basketball Club is the only Scottish club to have produced a member of the 2012 GB Olympic women’s basketball team. Rose Anderson, who first took to the court with City of Edinburgh Kool Kats, is the first Scot (male or female) ever to play basketball in the Olympics.

The club is proud to have played its part. It is now time for the council to play theirs.

Trevor Lodge, formerly chairman, City of Edinburgh Basketball Club

Right for teens to decide their future

I WELCOME the possibility that 16 and 17 year olds may be allowed to vote on an independent Scotland.

How we are going to inspire our young to vote when they have been so thoroughly let down by politics is the great challenge. As it’s the elderly who are most opposed to independence, young Scots may find their future being decided by those who won’t have to live for long with their choice.

Independence for Scotland is about democracy and the possibilities it brings, a modern democratic socialist republic, free from the brutalities of neo-liberalism and NATO belligerence. We need to inspire our young, not offer them more of the same wrapped up in nationalist nonsense.

Paul Jordan, Scottish Socialist Party, McNeill Street, Edinburgh

We must invest in our youngsters

LAST week it was revealed in a report by Ambitious Minds (News, August 21), that young Scots are faring the worst in the UK’s postcode jobs lottery, and that today’s school-leavers are facing their most serious plight for 70 years.

With jobs and future prospects at the forefront of many young people’s minds, it is vital that education institutions do all that they can to support them.

At Jewel & Esk College, many of our students participate in a modern apprenticeship scheme which provides them with the opportunity to earn a living while they learn.

We must remember that our young people are the lifeblood of tomorrow’s workforce. Given the bleak outlook being reported for them, they need to know it’s not all over for them before it’s even begun.

Michael Jeffrey, head of centre, Built Environment & Sustainability, Jewel & Esk College, Midlothian Campus, Dalhousie Road

Planning draws on all arguments

In your editorial “Good Planning” (News, August 24) you refer to the council debate on the limitations being imposed on councillors, who are not committee members, to represent their constituents views at the planning committee.

You have inferred that councillors may well represent only one side of the debate on a controversial planning application.

I have appeared at the committee on countless occasions over the past decades and have often put forward both sides of the argument then “left it to the good sense of the committee to decide”.

I have and always will represent the views of my constituents when asked to do so. Thus the concern raised by many of us to the latest imposition on our freedom to actively represent our constituents.

Councillor Allan Jackson, City Chambers