Letters: Elected members must take a share of blame

Chvrches singer Lauren Mayberry. PIcture: comp

Chvrches singer Lauren Mayberry. PIcture: comp

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I was surprised to read a letter from Sean Watters (Freshen up Porty with new faces and ideas, News, October 5) about the forthcoming community council elections in Portobello, claiming that the community council had allegedly “lost its way” in recent years and that this was the reason he was standing for election.

Mr Watters has been a member of the community council for the last four or more years so if he feels it lost its way he, as a member, must take his share of the responsibility for that.

Portobello Park. Picture: Comp

Portobello Park. Picture: Comp

It is simply untrue to say the PCC did not reflect the views of the community. On all major planning applications (such as the waste transfer station and Baileyfield and Newcraighall housing developments) its responses were backed up by the balance of opinion expressed in representations from the public on those applications.

It will be interesting to see what the make-up of the new PCC will be and just how representative of the local community, in all its diversity, it will really be.

Diana Cairns, West Brighton Crescent, Edinburgh

Difficult to trust the Government’s claims

It was intriguing to note the claims by UK defence secretary, Philip Hammond, that the instability created by the independence referendum is threatening Scottish jobs and contracts in the defence sector.

On a previous visit to Scotland the UK Chancellor, George Osborne, claimed that investment in Scotland was being damaged by the referendum.

Embarrassingly for him, even the UK government’s own statistics showed that inward investment had increased at a higher rate than the UK as a whole to one of the highest levels on record.

Just like his budget and much of his economic forecasts George Osborne’s claims, which contradict the figures used by his own government, unravelled just hours after they were made.

It is scarcely credible that anything the UK Government says can be trusted.

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh

Pride awards showed Union’s alive and well

I WATCHED the Pride of Britain awards ceremony on Tuesday and every recipient more than deserved their prize.

In my opinion these people and the thousands of other unsung heroes in all walks of life in our country are what puts and keeps the Great in Great Britain.

Our four nations that make up the United Kingdom have bonded and worked well for more than 300 years. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Elizabeth Henderson, Whitson Walk, Edinburgh

Faith tested by your remark on Chvrches

I NORMALLY appreciate your music coverage by Gary Flockhart, as he often does an excellent job of covering what the Capital and Scotland have to offer in an all-too banal era for 
“original” music.

However, I was disappointed to read him say of Chvrches’ frontwoman Lauren Mayberry that “as an added bonus” she was “a bit of a cutie in the Winona Ryder mould” (September 27). Such blatantly sexist language has no place in the Evening News.

Mayberry, pictured, has had well-documented battles with misogyny in social media, and you would think that someone who is supposedly supporting the band would not be party to the same type of thing as those who have insulted her in the past.

A Jarvis, Jameson Place, Leith

Union must recognise cutbacks are needed

The future of the Ineos refinery and a jointly owned petrochemical plant in Grangemouth is at stake as are thousands of jobs.

Ineos wants to cut jobs and reform its pension plan in order to help fund the building of a new £300 million platform to take delivery of cheap gas stocks from the US where the shale revolution left the US with more gas than it knows what to do with. It is not just the workers’ jobs which are at stake but the security of payments to pensioners both present and future.

The existing pension scheme has a £200 million deficit and in today’s economic climate is likely to get worse. A black hole indeed which Ineos cannot fill while losing £10 million a month.

The Unite union must recognise that job cuts and a new pension scheme are essential for the future of the plant, workers and pensioners.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

Who sees benefits of workers’ hard toil?

ONE of the things employers resist is a reduction in working hours. The weekly wage they pay has bought your time, and the more work that can be had from that time, the greater the amount of profit can be made, whereas any increase in the wage bill can be clawed back in rising prices.

Development in technology over the decades has meant more can be produced using fewer people, so the logical thing to do was reduce the working week so all could benefit, but no way would the employers reduce working hours, your time was paid for by the weekly wage.

Now employers are taking things further. They are embracing zero contracts where your time is now “on call” and when needed. How close is this to serfdom or slavery? Today the call is for everybody to work harder and longer, but for whose benefit?

Further, the Tory/Lib Dem government has planned to make the unemployed, sick or disabled work for nothing or lose their benefit.

Maybe this government would reinstate poor law relied officers dishing out food vouchers instead of benefit money, it would be in character.

A Delahoy, Silverknowes Gardens, Edinburgh