Letters: Council’s road tinkering has become an obsession

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Helen Martin is quite right to note that the council administration’s ‘obsession with road tinkering...is one of the symptoms of a council which has no sense of priority’ (News, March 16).

We now know that despite the serious financial pressures facing the council, the bill for the green-lighted 20mph scheme runs into the millions of pounds, not to mention the substantial amount of officer time this will take up, all while doing nothing to improve the awful condition of city roads and pavements.

The efforts being ploughed into the council administration’s public relations fightback is unlike anything I have seen since my election to the council. Not even the shambolic change to fortnightly bin collections received as much attention.

Perhaps behind closed doors the powers-that-be acknowledge that the Evening News poll showing over 80% of respondents to be against blanket 20mph limits and the 6000 people supporting the ‘No to 20mph Campaign’ are more accurate barometers of public opinion than the council’s under-the-radar ‘consultation’ which Joe Public seems to know little about.

The 20mph areas are effective - often essential - in targeted areas or in response to particular residents’ concerns. A blanket approach simply reduces effectiveness of areas most in need of a lower speed limit.

Frankly, there are other road safety measures which the council should prioritise - such as fixing potholes and pavements. Doing so would improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists, public transport and other drivers, including the elderly, tradesmen and taxi drivers.

Councillor Nick Cook, City Chambers, Edinburgh

Christine made a great page three girl!

I was delighted to see that you made centenarian Christine Gibson your page three girl (News, March 16)! She has been a family friend since I was a child and I’d like to pay tribute to her.

As a young typist, Miss Doig (as she was then) took a post as secretary to my father, uncle and grandfather at George Rae & Co (Builders) in Gayfield Square, and she remained there until she retired.

My father lost his hearing totally by the time he was 50 and Christine was an absolute brick. She would sit by my father’s side at his desk and take his phone calls, writing down what the caller said so that he could speak his reply.

I remember her telling me that one caller became exasperated with this procedure. She interrupted, and politely asked him to consider that he might one day be deaf himself!

My cousin organised another little surprise party for her when we were joined by my brother, a former employee of the business and some of the younger generation.

Hilary Rae, Monkwood Court, Edinburgh

Wind turbine maps not showing true picture

The most recent map of Scotland, prepared by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), showing the location of wind turbines is now 18 months out of date.

Have the Scottish Government put pressure on SNH to delay the publication of an up-to-date map until after the general election?

A new map would show that Scotland has become the most crowded country in the world for wind turbines.

Scotland at present has 2683 turbines with 282 more under construction and a further 2202 have planning consent.

New wind farm proposals will continue as long as there are ‘dripping roast’ subsidies.

The SNP Scottish Government, led by Alex Salmond, pushed through more and more turbine applications despite council and public objections.

Remember this when you vote in May, since a vote for the SNP will be seen as a mandate to erect yet more of these subsidy-gobbling monstrosities.

The people of Gordon in Aberdeenshire have a real chance to show their displeasure by not voting for Salmond.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

Three cheers for kind Lottery winner Jane

Just read about Edinburgh teenager Jane Park who won £1 million on the Lottery 18 months ago and is helping to send cancer victim Leon Rendle to Florida (News, March 17).

Jane has deservedly lived it up but now wants to come back down to earth. I admire her for that.

She was spotted working, which seems to have rattled some people’s cages. So does it mean that it is a crime or something to work after winning big money?

Don’t forget, it wasn’t just last week Jane won and she could have spent a substantial amount. She could also have put cash aside for a rainy day. Jane is only 19 and so has a long life ahead of her.

These people who got on their high horses should mind their own businesses and leave Jane Park alone to do what she likes.

Stephanie Wint, Holyrood Court, Edinburgh

Mortonhall PA system needs an upgrade

Recently I attended a funeral ceremony at Mortonhall Crematorium (main chapel) but was appalled by the poor PA system.

Some of the speakers were inaudible and playing classical music through the cheap loudspeakers was insulting. These facilities are not good enough. Both the deceased and their mourners deserve better.

Steuart Campbell, Dovecot Loan, Edinburgh