Letters: Garden District plan is a fine way for city to grow

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Have your say

This week is hugely important for the future of the City of Edinburgh.

This is likely to see the publication of the council’s proposals to allocate land for new homes in the city. This is a very sensitive issue, and I do not envy councillors the range of hard decisions that they will have to make.

At Murray Estates, we have spent a great deal of time and hard work into producing proposals that will create 3500 houses in genuinely sustainable homes and communities. More significantly, we have managed to achieve this in a way that avoids any undue impact on Edinburgh’s existing suburban communities.

There is no doubt that Edinburgh needs to grow, and I genuinely believe that our Garden District proposals are the best way to help meet the city’s housing needs for the next decade, whilst delivering £1 billion of investment, over 700 new jobs, and a fantastic new visitor attraction, the Calyx Garden.

All I have ever asked is for our proposals to be considered fairly, as I am confident that these are the right proposals at the right time for a genuinely world-class development that enhances Edinburgh as a place to live, work and visit.

Jestyn Davies, Managing Director, Murray Estates

Join us in helping The Children’s Trust

The Children’s Trust is celebrating Volunteers’ Week (June 1-7) and would like to thank and acknowledge the fantastic work of its volunteers throughout the UK.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of The Children’s Trust.

Within the last year more than 560 people have selflessly given up 114,855 hours to help us in a variety of ways, from giving support during children’s therapy sessions, helping run fundraising events, driving, volunteering in our charity shops and admin duties.

Our volunteers are an essential part of raising awareness of The Children’s Trust and the work it does. It is the UK’s leading charity for children with brain injury and supports hundreds of children and families across the country each year.

We are always keen to hear from anyone interested in volunteering and appreciate all skills from retail, marketing and finance to driving and gardening.

If you would like to find out how you can get involved, please visit www.thechildrenstrust.org.uk/volunteer or call 01737 365002.

Rachel Turner, Voluntary Services Manager, The Children’s Trust

Report will help young people into work

As a coalition of leading independent and third sector providers of children’s services we are delighted to see the publication of the report from the Commission led by Sir Ian Wood on getting young people into training and employment (June 4).

One issue which is of key relevance to us is the recognition in the report of the barriers and inequalities that continue to exist for young people with additional support needs (ASN) when it comes to accessing employment and training opportunities.

By the time they are 26 young disabled people, for example, are nearly four times more likely to be unemployed than their wider peer group. In addition, less than 1% of those in a Modern Apprenticeship has a declared disability. Although reliant on self-declaration, this is still woefully low and more can be done in order to promote the rewards of getting these young people, many of whom boast excellent skills, into work and to ensure that they are ‘work ready’ when opportunities arise.

The Commission response seeks to address these barriers through a range of constructive recommendations including prioritising career advice and work experience for young disabled people at school; setting targets for the number of Modern Apprenticeships going to those with disabilities and encouraging and supporting employers to take on those in this category.

We now await the Scottish Government’s response and hope it can put into action these recommendations, allowing a young person to take control of their own journey towards and into employment.

The Scottish Children’s Services Coalition -Tom McGhee, Duncan Dunlop, Stuart Jacob, Sophie Pilgrim, Sophie Dow, Niall Kelly; Walker Street, Edinburgh

EU at the heart of a Yes vote contradiction

MANY supporters of the ‘Yes’ campaign wish to leave the UK because its parliament seems to have an inbuilt right-wing majority.

Instead, they want to remain in the EU, whose parliament seems to have an inbuilt right-wing majority, which, moreover, wishes to transform the EU into a United States of Europe, whose member states would have roughly the same powers as those now accorded to Holyrood by devolution.

Could a ‘Yes’ supporter please explain the logic of this aspiration in plain English, so that we can all understand?

Roger West, Swanston View, Edinburgh

What to do with a seven-mile long scarf

I Read in the News (May 27) that members of the Scottish Wool Against Weapons are knitting a pink, seven-mile long scarf.

I agree that everyone is entitled to protest in their own way, but surely this is a waste of wool!

I hope when the protest is over the wool will be used to knit blankets or clothes for people whose lives have been blighted by wars all over the world.

Mary Kerr, Milton Road East, Edinburgh