Letters: Council is overstepping the mark by asking for ID

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I wholeheartedly agree with your anonymous correspondent’s complaint about being required to submit his/her date of birth when phoning Edinburgh council about a waste bin problem (Letters, July 29).

For this requirement flatly conflicts with the Scottish Government’s own Identity Management and Privacy Principles, Version 2.0, October 2014.

The very first principle, on page five and entitled Only identify when necessary, states: “People should not be asked to prove who they are unless it is necessary. A person making a general inquiry about a service should not need to provide any identifying information.” Following this, the second principle is entitled: Ask for as little information as possible.

On both of these counts, Edinburgh council is clearly overstepping the mark by a mile. Where someone is phoning to report on two over-full communal bins, all the council needs to know is the location of the two bins. The identification of the caller is completely superfluous.

As a NO2ID campaigner, my advice to people is to never submit your date of birth to anyone unless they have a very good reason for having it. The easiest way to steal somebody’s identity is to first get hold of their name and date of birth.

I trust that Edinburgh council will now respond to my letter, stating that they will henceforth stop routinely asking for a caller’s date of birth. And in the unusual circumstances of this information being essential, they should be required to explain unambiguously the reason why.

Dr John Welford, Boat Green, Edinburgh

Shoddy road repairs are ruining my car

To the right is a photograph of the driver’s side of my Toyota Aygo parked in a Permit Bay on East Preston Street.

Over the past few months pothole “repairs” have been done. As the road gives way, someone comes along and fills it in with stone chips and a bit of tarmac. Then the buses come along and remove the top layer of tarmac, the stone chips are then thrown onto the bodywork of the car and the result is plain to see.

If it rains our cars get covered in dirty, muddy water and some additional damage to the paintwork.

I have made endless calls to the council regarding these potholes but they have all fallen on deaf ears, unless the temporary patch is the response.

Who is going to pay for the damage to my car? Or is it just another thing we have to put up and shut up!

Lyn Blackhall, East Preston Street, Edinburgh

Drivers must take care on dangerous A9

It’s such a pity the introduction of speed cameras on the notorious A9 failed to cut deaths (News, July 28).

Though the number of injuries has more than halved, sadly four people died on this dangerous road in the six months after the cameras were installed.

All drivers need to take great care on the A9 for their own safety and for the safety of others.

Mrs June Fleming, Hercus Loan, Musselburgh, East Lothian

SNP should give referendum a rest

If only it was truly up to the people who live in Scotland to decide if and when we want another referendum but unfortunately Ms Sturgeon is in charge and it would seem what she says is what we get.

Ms Sturgeon and Mr Salmond seem determined to get their own way and no matter what the Prime Minister or for that matter the rest of the UK offer they will find some excuse to persuade us that we are ill done to and that we would be better alone.

Just look at the oil industry, but they are being very quiet about that now. I’m sure the SNP would have as many referendums as they could until they get the result they want. What is it about the word NO they don’t understand? Give it a rest and ask us again in ten years’ time.

Mrs S Smart, Penicuik

Lack of border control puts strain on society

The new population figures are jaw dropping. How can Britain continue to absorb an increase of half a million every year – the housebuilding programme couldn’t remotely keep pace. The strain on our housing, schools, hospitals and transport is unsustainable.

But Britain will continue to be a magnet for millions seeking our welfare state and jobs. Looking back it was Labour who lost our borders. In checking Labour’s record on immigration under Blair and Brown, four million came to Britain.

Labour never knew who came in and who went out of the country. We must take control of our borders or it will be standing room only.

Harry Mulholand, Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh

Quality of NHS depends on where you live

Sylvia M De Luca is right about the NHS (Letters, July 30) but it really depends on where in the UK you 
live.

My family in Scotland have nothing but praise for NHS Scotland and the treatment they have received but unfortunately relatives on the other side of the border cannot say the same about NHS England which is in dire straits. They can only look on in envy at what we have here.

As for being the envy of the world, I doubt that very much as other countries have free health care and some of them would put ours to shame. The Cuban NHS is widely regarded as the best in the world and a model for 
others to aspire to.

C Lamont, Magdalene Avenue, Edinburgh