Letters: Decision to take coastguard away is insult to seafarers

Have your say

The Forth Estuary without a coastguard is like a ship leaving port without an officer of the watch and/or look-out.

Do those who were behind this stupid decision think “modern technology” would have saved the confused whales or saved people stranded on Cramond Island? This decision is an insult to all seafarers and especially those who use the Forth every day.

I suggest all interested parties should get together and run the coastguard as a private enterprise, maintaining a 7/7 – 24hr watch. Sir Alan Massey, with his naval experience, should know that experienced eyes can see what a radar set cannot see.

I suggest the Maritime and Coastguard Agency thinks again and allows the Forth Estuary to come under the care of local experience. If the Royal Navy can trust the workers at Rosyth to build their ships, then trust the Fife Coastguard.

C.J.R.Fentiman, Polwarth Gardens, Edinburgh

Big thank you to the airport staff

I thought I would take the time to let you know about our recent experience in Edinburgh Airport.

Our daughter Blythe has severe special needs. She cannot walk or talk and is fed entirely via a tube to her stomach. She has a brother and sister who are aged three and four. Going on holiday hasn’t been possible till now.

After a long wet summer we decided to book a holiday to Spain, flying with Ryanair from Edinburgh Airport in September. We were very apprehensive about getting Blythe’s feeds through security and getting her and her siblings onto the plane.

Everyone in the airport helped us to very easily get on our way in a professional and friendly manner. I cannot commend enough the staff who aided us along the way.

Pamela Anderson, Campbell Park Drive, Edinburgh

Means testing is unfair to taxpayer

The last week has seen the Labour Party in Scotland adopting the Tory policy of threatening the future of free bus passes for pensioners and free prescriptions as well as free personal care. It is frankly incredible to know the motivation of a party in wanting to introduce means testing of these benefits with everyone, including the elderly, needing to fill in complicated forms to receive what is their right.

Everyone knows that means testing bus passes, prescriptions and the like will cost millions of pounds every year in employing staff to make the assessment. That is why child benefit and the basic pension is not means tested.

Under Labour it will not matter that you’ve paid tax and national insurance all your life – you will still have to fill in forms to ask for your bus pass, free prescription or free personal care. And if your children have the ability to go to university you will have to pay tuition fees.

I urge you to write to your Member of the Scottish Parliament and tell them to support the Scottish Government in guaranteeing your bus pass, free prescriptions, free personal care and freezing the council tax as well as free tuition fees. Of course if you live in Musselburgh, Wallyford or Whitecraig your local SNP MSP and 
councillors will, unlike Labour, stick to the promises made in 2011 and 2012.

Cllr Stuart Currie, SNP Spokesperson for Housing and Community Wellbeing, John Muir House Haddington East Lothian

Brownfield is best for Porty school

The council tried to produce the new Portobello School on the cheap, choosing an unsuitable site that cost nothing, a narrow space adjacent to one of the busiest roads in Edinburgh.

There have been many comments that this is the only viable site. A brownfield site that was never considered is East and West Telferton, a huge area right in the heart of the catchment district. For pupil safety an access subway could be built under Harry Lauder Road at Fishwives Causeway and another under the east coast rail line for pupils in Durham and Mountcastle.

This site would be expensive because it has a number of industrial units that would have to be demolished and their firms relocated. The problem with this and previous councils is that they would rather spend OUR money on projects we do not want or need that might attract tourists, instead of catering for our 
children’s education.

AJE Shiels, Milton Drive, Edinburgh