Letters: Don’t forget about critical shortage of housing in city

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I write in response to your article ‘Let’s see plan B before you get penny of your £84m docks cash’ (News, November 9).

While we support Forth Ports’ ambitions to create a national renewable hub in Leith and generate the potential for thousands of jobs for people in Leith and Edinburgh, we must not underestimate the vital role creating new mixed-use communities, including affordable housing, still plays in the area.

While the plan to retain Leith Docks as an operating port takes around 15,000 homes out of the overall masterplan for the next 20 to 30 years, there is still a huge task to complete developing the new mixed-use communities planned for Western Harbour and Granton Waterfront areas

The creation of a new relief road linking Seafield to Constitution Street effectively becomes the line between industry to the north and new residential communities with improved housing, leisure and small business enterprise to the south.

There is still land available to construct approximately 10,000 new homes, helping to address the acute undersupply of affordable housing in the city and continue to improve the area for the people of Leith and north Edinburgh who have already located and bought into Edinburgh’s Waterfront.

Keith Anderson, Port of Leith Housing Association

Challenges ahead for new Tory chief

IT hasn’t taken long for Ruth Davidson, Scotland’s new and openly gay Tory Leader to be put on the spot, now that religious leaders in Scotland are intensifying their homophobic hostility to same sex-marriages.

This selective sectarianism makes a mockery of any attempt by Holyrood to lay the blame for sectarian behaviour primarily at the door of Scottish football fans.

Ruth Davidson must challenge Westminster’s watering down of the Equalities Bill that allows powerful religious political lobbyists to encourage discrimination against gays hoping to become members of their respective clergies.

The electorate also need to know her thoughts on gays deserving the same rights as heterosexual couples who can freely betroth their love and commitment to each other in a religious ceremony if they so desire.

Jack Fraser, Clayknowes Drive, Musselburgh

SNP’s position stays the same

YOUR reporter Michael Blackley telephoned me on Tuesday to “check out” if a rumour he had heard was true.

It was to the effect that the SNP group had agreed to change its position on the Alternative Business Models proposals at the insistence of the Liberal Democrats in order for us to remain in the coalition.

I informed him that the Liberal Democrats did not request that we review our position and nor did we offer to do so. In fact the subject was never broached.

The dicussion at the Coalition Dispute Resolution meeting held on Monday, November 7 confined itself to the events of last week and the position has been resolved.

Our position is, therefore, as it was last week.

Councillor Steve Cardownie, leader of the SNP group

Tinkering with price isn’t answer

IN view of the fact that alcohol is first and foremost an intoxicating drug, it’s hard to imagine that minimum pricing will deter an element of society from mistreating alcohol and making a nuisance of themselves.

Scotland has a long history of alcohol-related problems and heavy drinking may actually be seen as part of the culture.

If the government is really serious about tackling the country’s drink-related problems and the nation’s health in general, I do not think for one minute the solutions lie in tinkering with the prices of alcohol.

Angus McGregor, Albion Road, Edinburgh

Will new cop line cost callers cash?

THERE has been talk of an extra non-emergency telephone number for the police to relieve pressure on the 999 service.

When will this be rolled out? Will it be a toll-free line or a premium rate one?

Colin C Maclean, Hillpark Avenue, Edinburgh