Letters: Edinburgh Leisure needs an exercise in common sense

Meadowbank windows have been screened

Meadowbank windows have been screened

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Have your say

IT is right that we give children the best protection we can, but for part of Meadowbank Sports Centre to be screened off when kids are doing gymnastic classes (News, December 20) is just ridiculous.

Parents being forbidden the pleasure of watching their children take part in such a healthy pursuit is a step too far.

Classes like this tend to cater for regular members taking part, and I’m sure if some dodgy character was hanging around to peer at the junior gymnasts, it’s likely they would be spotted by parents and given the brush-off.

In an era when too many children are sat in front of the television or computer games with junk food, it is wrong to penalise children and parents who are trying to do the right thing.

How about some classes in common sense for the management at Edinburgh Leisure?

Ranald McLean, Portobello

Ring the bell for Hogmanay past

I ENJOYED reading Gina Davidson’s article in which she hankered after the old days of celebrating Hogmanay at the Tron (News, December 20). I have to say that bringing in the bells in the biting cold has never held any pleasure for me.

I have warmer memories of a neighbourly thing that has unfortunately become a relic of the past – first footing.

People of Gina’s generation won’t know that they have missed out on something that showed much more of the community spirit that used to exist.

It was common after the bells for folk to chap on your door to bring in the New Year – usually folk you knew, but in those trusting days strangers were welcome too.

Folk would then have a wee drink together and some food too – a bit of steak pie if you were lucky.

For all of the razzamatazz of what the city does nowadays, we have lost the friendly touch of what used to happen. What a pity.

Liz Connolly, Clermiston Road, Edinburgh

Cameron words hard to swallow

David Cameron has the nerve to cite a six-fold increase in people applying to “food bank” charities as a splendid example of the Big Society in action – what next, a return to child labour as an example of job creation?

When does a government cross the line between uncaring and just plain evil?

David Fiddimore, Nether Craigwell, Calton Road, Edinburgh

Capital is set to sparkle in 2013

It is at this time of the year that our beautiful country really does sparkle, doesn’t it?

Scotland boasts some of the most stunning landscapes in the world and our natural environment is the number one reason why people want to spend their leisure time in our glorious country.

Research shows that nature-based activities are worth nearly 40 per cent of all tourism spend in Scotland and with the value of wildlife tourism being estimated at over £270 million, it’s certainly worth shouting about.

Scotland’s tourist industry supports 270,000 people, all of whom are waiting to welcome Scots visitors. Check out visitscotland.com and you’ll see there are fabulous deals on offer to tempt you.

Hogmanay will signal the start of the Year of Natural Scotland 2013, a celebration which is all about getting every man, woman and child appreciating Scotland’s great natural icons and we’re ready to grasp this with both hands.

I want to make next year the year that everyone in Scotland gets out and about and explores not just what’s on their own doorstep – but the amazing natural environment across the country.

For Edinburgh this is the perfect time to shine. There is already so much to see and do, with the Royal Botanic Gardens and Holyrood Park just a couple of wonderful natural experiences here. But there is so much more that can be done by sectors to capitalise on this opportunity – that’s why we’ve created a special toolkit so that all businesses can get involved.

Added to this, there is also our Year of Natural Scotland Growth Fund, a £150,000 cash pot for tourism industry groups and communities to boost marketing projects themed around the Year of Natural Scotland 2013 – a fantastic chance for collaboration so everyone can benefit.

So come on, get involved! For more information go to visitscotland.org/natural2013.

Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland