Letters: Give our children a sporting chance by building school

The school row centres on the park

The school row centres on the park

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Have your say

The overwhelming majority of Portobello residents want their high school to be located at Portobello Park, utilising the green space available for on-site sports facilities for our children.

Portobello Park has never been a well-used facility, even in the days when it had a number of football pitches. Today, it plays host to the occasional dog walker.

It would be better to provide a purpose-built greenfield site on the existing school site that Portobello residents can use and gain enjoyment from.

Portobello Park Action Group is indulging in self-interest and NIMBYism which has nothing to do with Portobello Park.

The Private Act will provide Portobello and its residents with what they are crying out for – a new school and an education for our children.

Stuart J Lockhart, Edinburgh

Apprentices need firm foundations

The latest UK job figures bring home the impact of the country’s continuing economic woes on employment in the UK construction industry. UK-wide, they show the building sector having shed 57,000 jobs in the past year and 219,000 jobs over the past four years.

I applaud the Scottish Government’s efforts in seeking to prioritise direct capital investment to boost the construction industry and would give full backing to the First Minister’s calls on the UK Government to release additional funds to bolster Scotland’s capital budget.

At the same time, the Scottish Government’s £2.5 billion non-profit distribution infrastructure programme is still not getting shovels in the ground quickly enough with many projects not scheduled to start until late 2013.

If we’re serious about tackling youth unemployment, the drive to create additional Modern Apprenticeship opportunities also needs to focus much greater attention towards supporting high-quality apprenticeships in the construction sector.

At Westminster and Holyrood, our politicians need to match words with action to show they understand that recovery in the construction industry is critical to the future health of the economy as a whole.

Michael Levack, chief executive, Scottish Building Federation, Holyrood, Edinburgh

Fond memories of Harry’s coconuts

Nice to hear that Leith’s Kirkgate will have market stalls gracing its pedestrian way once again (News, November 15). For those of us who can remember the 1950s, it might bring back fond memories of the big market handcarts that used to grace the old Kirkgate.

I remember, among others, Harry Butler’s fruit cart, where you could always get a good coconut.

“Full to the top with milk,” he would say, as he shook them vigorously in your face, and claimed “you could hear them lapping like the tide”.

But rumour had it that he drilled and topped them up at night with tap water, before plugging the hole with used match sticks.

So I will look forward to this new market, but doubt if I will get coconuts like Harry’s.

Alex Lawson, Glenrothes