Letters: Council should have sought clarification for new school

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Have your say

The council is being asked to authorise more expenditure on the provision of a new school for Portobello.

This project has been delayed by the council’s inability to deal with the legality of building on the common good land. It identified the issue during the initial education consultation in 2006 and since then has not taken steps to ensure that it is legally entitled to build on the land.

Its legal opinions are contrary to the first legal opinion provided. There has always been a possibility the court would have to rule on this. The council had five years to ask for a court ruling to clarify the legality of their proposals but chose to bluff to avoid the possibility of their opinion being found lacking.

With a legal ruling to clarify the situation, Portobello would have been the beneficiary of a new school either on the park or one of the alternatives identified in the consultation process.

We are now faced with a delay and potentially the need for a full design and tendering process. The council should have clarified the legal situation at the earliest opportunity for a modest sum and avoided the delay and expense we are now experiencing.

The council can still go to court to ask for clarification.

Archie Burns, Pittville Street

Please think twice about futile act

I’M surprised Alison Connelly (Interactive, September 16) doesn’t understand the huge disappointment and anger within the community at the actions of the Portobello Park Action Group.

The proposed move to a new site at Portobello Park was approved by the council in December 2006, approved by the Scottish Government in October 2008, and funds were committed to rebuilding on the park in December 2008.

At that same December meeting the council confirmed, on the basis of legal advice, that it would not be going to court. PPAG has had years in which to challenge the proposed move to the park. By leaving it till the very last minute to launch a legal action, just as a contractor was about to be appointed, they have caused the maximum disruption and delay. PPAG should think again before proceeding with this futile action.

Sean Watters, Brighton Place, Portobello

On the verge of another fine mess

ALTHOUGH relatively minimal in comparison to the overall tram budget, I sincerely hope that landscaping and subsequent maintenance has been factored into the project.

One just has to look at the complete inability of TIE (originally) and Edinburgh City Council (subsequently) in maintaining the grass verges along the guided busway (another failed project!) corridor from Stenhouse Drive through Broomhouse to Bankhead Drive which are part of the tram route.

These areas have never been maintained to a decent standard and have been vastly overgrown for years. They were never properly cleared of rubble when the guided busway was being built and presumably are unsuitable for large grass cutting machinery to be used.

Any grass cutting attempts over the years have also been of a poor standard.

The whole lengthy area is a complete eyesore.

We can only hope that the appropriate council department will take the necessary action to upgrade the whole area to an acceptable standard prior to the trams running.

George S Buglass, Carrick Knowe Drive

Time to draw a line on rail plan

WITH estimated costs of the Edinburgh to Galashiels railway steaming rapidly towards £300 million, surely now is the time to pull the plug on this white elephant.

The savings would more than cover the shortfall in Edinburgh’s tram budget, thus allowing trams to reach the Waterfront at Newhaven.

This would benefit many more people than a few Liberal Democrat voters in the Borders – most of whom will, whether or not the Border Union line re-opens, continue to drive into Edinburgh to partake of vital facilities largely absent from their rural idyll.

John Eoin Douglas, Spey Terrace, Edinburgh