Letters: Edinburgh’s litter bugs need to be taught a lesson

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So the city council is hiring 12 new environmental wardens to keep Edinburgh tidy (News, March 21) – what a joke. This council is so short-sighted and stuck in a fine culture, hiring only wardens makes no sense, it’s only a quarter of the battle, if at all, as they’re not going to tidy the place up.

If the council is serious about keeping Edinburgh tidy, it is about education and prevention, not only hiring environmental wardens.

An educational programme set up as part of a recycling drive would teach people what happens with their rubbish.

The council should hire sweepers to go along with a brush and cart and tidy up the streets properly, not just drive by in a small electric cart with brushes, and miss a whole load of rubbish lying in places it can’t reach, or have men and women in lorries come along and empty bins once in a while.

It should bring back the small yellow bins that you used to get on lamp posts and deploy bigger and better bins, and have better collections.

The amount of times I’ve walked past bins up town and found them full, with litter lying all around them, is a joke.

Every bus stop should have a bin placed beside it as that’s where a lot of people congregate through an entire day. It makes sense to have somewhere for people to discard their rubbish whilst getting on and off of buses.

No, this council is not that serious about cleaning up the streets at all.

Paul Cook, Sighthill Crescent, Edinburgh

Budget tax tales are ‘deceptive’

The latest announcement on personal tax allowances indicating that taxpayers will benefit by £379 per year is a bit of a deception as it is based over a two-year period.

The present allowance for the current tax year is £8105 which was already rising to £9440 for tax year April 2013 to April 2014. The latest announcement of a rise to £10,000 from April 2014 is therefore only an increase of £560. Multiplied by 20 pence, that is an increase of only £112.

This is once again announcing part of something that has previously been announced and in my opinion is deception.

John M Tulloch, Duddingston Park South, Edinburgh

Food must come first on the menu

The average UK household’s annual food bill was more than £100 higher in 2012 than in 2011, putting a strain on overstretched household budgets. In poorer countries, where people often spend most of their incomes on food, price rises have an even greater impact, forcing millions to go hungry.

One of the reasons prices have been rising so rapidly is that banks and hedge funds are pouring millions of pounds of speculative money into food futures markets, pushing prices beyond the levels dictated by supply and demand.

Access to food is a basic human right, and banks should not be allowed to play havoc with food prices.

New legislation to limit food speculation is on the table at the EU, but George Osborne and his Treasury colleagues have so far blocked tough controls.

We must demand that our politicians put the needs of hungry people, at home and abroad, before the profits of investment banks.

Georgi Ivanov, Leith Walk, Edinburgh

Bedroom tax will hit society’s poor

It is healthy to see the letters page (March 22) so dominated by one of the most unfair policies – the bedroom tax.

Tory councillor Iain Whyte criticises the Greens for not backing a policy which supposedly aims to make more efficient use of the housing stock.

However, if Cllr Whyte had taken even a passing interest in the arithmetic he would know that there are nothing like enough smaller homes for people to move into. The bedroom tax, by design, hits the poorest people in society with no real prospect of more efficient use of housing.

Meanwhile, Labour councillor Cammy Day accuses the Greens of seeking to make political points over the bedroom tax. Quite the opposite.

It is good for politicians like Cammy to sign petitions but what counts is real action. I have put forward a proposal ensuring no council tenant will be evicted for bedroom tax-related arrears. It is a real commitment. Dundee City Council and Green-led Brighton and Hove Council have made it. Will Labour in Edinburgh follow suit?

Cllr Steve Burgess, Green Housing spokesperson