Letters: Emotion and pride as TV brought memories of son

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EDINBURGH City Council did the city proud with the Garden of Remembrance in Princes Street Gardens.

It was all laid out beautifully. Seeing all those crosses made you realise the numbers of our Scottish forces that have died.

I went up to take photos of the cross of my son Garry, who was killed in 1981. I couldn’t find it, but I still took photos of all the sections of the Garden as it as peaceful and quiet thanks to the tram work.

Then on Armistice Day at teatime I was watching the STV news when the Armistice service came on from the Garden of Remembrance. It was very touching to watch. At the end of the programme the camera zoomed into the crosses and there was my soldier son Garry’s picture. You can imagine how emotional and proud I was seeing it.

To see his face on the TV was so uncanny. I went back up on Remembrance Sunday and eventually found it.

Phyllis Muir, Findlay Avenue, Edinburgh

Flats would have been sought after

RESPONDING to the disclosure that the city has lost £110,000 from rents from the flats emptied because of the “Caltongate” development, Paul Edie claims: “The accommodation is not fit-for-purpose. It is damp, and we could not house people there.” (News, November 28)

I was a city centre councillor for more than 30 years. Throughout that period these flats were in very high demand. Any of my constituents seeking rehousing would have been delighted to have been offered one of them.

If the flats are now in poor condition it is because they have been shamefully neglected by the city council over the last five years.

The council should recognise that the late unlamented “Caltongate” is no more, and take action to repair these properties. They would have no difficulty finding tenants for them.

Robert Cairns, Harrietfield, Perthshire

Share of blame belongs to Labour

ONCE again the city council proves itself incredibly complacent on the subject of empty homes. Despite having the most pressurised housing markets in Scotland, council leaders have shown very little inclination to do anything about the blight of private homes lying empty.

And now we discover that the council has been sitting on nine council flats, empty for five years through the twists and turns of the Caltongate saga.

Housing leader Paul Edie claims the flats are not fit to let. Who let them get into that state in the first place? And how much of the £110,000 lost rent would it have taken to make them available?

And Cammy Day of Labour has a nerve to raise concerns since it was under Labour that the whole vainglorious Caltongate scheme was first dreamt up and the tenants of the flats moved.

Councillor Steve Burgess, Co-ordinator, Scottish Green Party Group, City Chambers

Demand more from the council

NEXT year elections will be taking place and councillors will be nervous, with good reason. I urge everyone to attend as many surgeries as possible and question these people.

If you don’t understand the answer then question them again. Don’t forget, councillors receive a wage from the public purse.

I live in a concrete box the council laughingly refers to as a one-bedroom flat, and I cannot afford the heating bills. Do we deserve better? No, we demand better.

Vincent Logan, Muirhouse View, Edinburgh

Being generous with our money

CHRIS Huhne, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, is a disaster and every time he opens his mouth the taxpayer suffers.

His latest generosity with our money is giving £1 billion of UK aid to Africa to fight climate change.

I thought we were in economic meltdown.

He and Dave want to strut the world stage in Durban, South Africa, at the UN summit on climate change.

This £1 billion could be seen as a cynical attempt to get the African nations to sign up to whatever CO2 reduction deals Chris and Dave propose to show that they are world leaders.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow