Letters: Extinguish bid to demolish historic Granton gasholder

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As a resident of Granton and someone who has advocated the saving 
 of the iconic Granton gasholder for a number of years, I was not surprised to see the landowner National Grid yet again put forward plans to demolish the old industrial structure (News, January 9).

National Grid understood its fiscal responsibility towards keeping the 115-year-old gasholder when it demolished the earlier gasholders, and the fact that it has been overruled previously by city councillors and the Scottish Government shows a disregard to Granton.

National Grid’s new proposals to build a park on the site is nothing more than a smokescreen in which to renege from its obligation towards retaining the gasholder financially.

It continues to point out how much this will cost, claiming £200,000 a year to paint the gasholder. This is in itself a misleading statement.

If the Forth Bridge can be painted with a new advanced glass – a flaked epoxy coating that means it won’t be needing redone for 25 years – surely the gasholder won’t be needing painted every year.

As we can see in other European cities such as the Flak Towers in Vienna and along with Dublin’s waterfront development, they can be incorporated in such a way as to highlight the towers into the central point of the regeneration of the area.

This seems to be the opposite of what National Grid wants for the iconic tower at Granton. As pointed out, if National Grid can make £1.1 billion pre-tax profits, not including the millions made from the Waterfront development future revenues, it should be more constructive in saving the last great gasholder.

Lawrence Dinse, Crewe Road North, Edinburgh

Classrooms will win high marks

As your editorial comment (News, January 8) stated, the council sits between a rock and a hard place when it comes to the rapid projected rise in primary pupils.

We expect to see a rise of around 20 per cent in primary one pupils by 2020 and a number of our schools are already under real pressure.

That’s why since taking office in May 2012 the Capital Coalition set about looking at the issue through a cross-party working group, which included parental representation, and why we are seeking to very quickly provide extensions to a number of primary schools.

In reference to Gina Davidson’s column on the design of the extensions (January 10), whilst I accept that outwardly they may not win any architectural prizes, I feel I must respond to her misleading representation of what it could be like to be taught in one of these.

The classrooms will be warm, fresh, and ultimately as good a learning environment as is available in any other Edinburgh school.

They will be proudly adorned with pupils work as all others are.

The fact of the matter is we have got to provide extra space in these popular schools now or many, many parents will be forced to send their children out of catchment which would prove an extremely unpopular move and a much greater upheaval.

I would be more than happy to give Gina a tour of these new facilities once they are ready at the start of the new school year.

Paul Godzik, education, children and families convener, Edinburgh City Council

Ashes scandal not about lawyers

The Mortonhall scandal is a deeply distressing one, but the hyperbole used by lawyers in upping the ante by being quoted as calling for an inquiry “bigger” than previous public or judicial inquiries might not particularly impress taxpayers, who might well be expected to fund lawyers’ fees for any such inquiry.

Such inquiries tend to run and run.

Mortonhall parents deserve answers, not a lawyer-fest.

Gus Logan, Coates Gardens, Edinburgh

Osborne already

has benefited

THE Chancellor George Osborne has said he will no longer claim child benefit because his pay allows him to manage without it and wants to “lead by example”.

Considering that even before Osborne was on a six-figure pay packet as chancellor, he was already a multi-millionaire.

Perhaps then he can explain why he ever claimed child benefit to begin with.

Alan Lough, Boroughdales, Dunbar, East Lothian