Letters: Embarrassment of green riches should halt protests

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As the parent of a daughter in P6 at Towerbank Primary School, I am angry and dismayed at the news that a new Portobello High School may now be delayed by six months as the result of a court action that even the people who are behind it must realise has absolutely no chance of success.

A new school is desperately needed, this is the only viable site and the selfish actions of a few residents should not be allowed to stand in its way.

Portobello has an almost embarrassing wealth of accessible open space. When you consider that we have Figgate Park, Rosefield Park, Brighton Park, Abercorn Park, Joppa Quarry Park, a mile-long promenade and a beautiful beach, the sacrifice of a little-used, muddy field seems a small price to pay in order to locate a new state-of-the-art school that will benefit thousands of local children for generations to come. Doesn’t that serve the “common good” rather better than “saving” the park for the handful of local dog walkers who currently use it?

Bob Jefferson, Rosefield Street, Portobello

Action group must keep on fighting

I STRONGLY agree with the Portobello Park Action Group. This land is for the common good and will be lost forever. Improvement of existing parks will not compensate for this loss.

I also agree that the existing Portobello High School needs replacement or refurbishment, but believe the present site is the most suitable. Although this would cause short-term disruption (which could have been minimised had the school moved temporarily to the old Holyrood buildings before they were demolished), the long-term benefits would justify this.

Karen Prince, Edinburgh

Compensation is insult to residents

LAST week, I received a communication from the council offering the communities of Portobello and Craigmillar £150,000 as “compensation” for stealing the use of Portobello Park from future generations and asking us what we want to the money spent on.

It is like confiscating my garden and offering me a £5 gift voucher for Marks and Spencer. It is an astonishing insult to our intelligence.

John Kelly, Park Avenue

Dark days ahead with energy cost

News that EDF is the last in a long line of energy suppliers to announce a rise in its tariffs is extremely worrying.

The most recent hikes from EDF, Eon and Scottish Power simply make achieving the legal commitment to eradicate fuel poverty by 2016 disappear further from the horizon.

And it is not just about fuel poverty. Families on the borderline face rising rents, housing benefit cuts and the dark cloud of inevitable interest rate rises in the future.

Something has to give. Energy companies are going to have to work very hard to justify rising prices at a time of stagnant or falling incomes.

Gavin Corbett, head of policy, Shelter Scotland, Scotiabank House, South Charlotte Street

Retire early and think of future

WITH unemployment among youths very high, is it not now time for the UK Government to lower the retiral age to 60?

It could be done on a voluntary basis and would help to release jobs into the economy. Pensions could be paid from the savings made from the Welfare Bill – running at more than £70 billion per year.

The idea that people must work on till 75 years of age is simply unworkable.

Trevor Swistchew, Victor Park Terrace

Labour shows no faith in Scotland

LABOUR’S Jim Murphy and Sarah Boyack are asking, are we ready for the revolution? They claim the road to revival starts by loosening ties with the London leadership, then propose to elect an MP as leader but say they’ll have to get the London leadership’s say-so.

It’s also an admission that they think most of their MSPs are useless, but that’s something the Scottish people have known for a long time.

Jim Hill, Stenhouse