Letters: Health of a city is gauged by its employment rate

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I am more than happy to reassure Councillor Gavin Corbett about what I think makes Edinburgh successful (Evening News Letters, March 25).

For me the best indicator of the health of the city and its people is the number of people out of work.

Despite the long economic downturn, unemployment has been kept lower here than in many other places.

However, everyone I think realises the real heartache and pain caused to individuals and families by the scourge of unemployment.

Unemployment peaked with 12,117 people out of work in December 2012, but since then huge progress has been made as the economy recovers. Despite this, more than 9000 people in the city are still seeking work, which is a long way from the days when the strength of the city’s economy saw three jobs for every job seeker in Edinburgh. Hopefully it will not be long before the city can create enough jobs for that to happen again.

I can also clarify that I am an enthusiastic supporter of small businesses; indeed, I have always been aware of the dangers of our ‘wine glass economy’ with large numbers of big firms and start-ups, and too few small and medium companies in between. Edinburgh would obviously benefit from growing more successful small businesses.

Getting someone into work transforms their lives and gives them and their families dignity and opportunities that would otherwise be denied. It is not the only thing that matters, of course, but in my experience there is no better indicator of the health of a community or city than the number of people in and out of work.

Donald Anderson, Director of PPS Scotland and former Edinburgh City Council leader

Council’s shame at close of youth cafe

For over 20 years Edinburgh’s Youth Cafe have successfully worked with some of our most vulnerable young people.

From its centre at 6 Victoria Terrace – which they themselves converted from derelict storerooms - their work has received worldwide praise.

Then a few of the town’s toffs come along and decide that they want 6VT as a wine bar. They use their establishment influence to get grants and to see the Youth Cafe evicted. Shamefully city councillors have rolled over like pussy cats supporting the privileged at the expense of the needy.

A disgusting display.

Paul Nolan, Niddrie Marischal Crescent, Edinburgh

Fewer is best when it comes to councillors

Sue Bruce is clearly a highly capable chief executive but oh how her latest pronouncement typifies public sector thinking.

If Edinburgh City Council were run as a plc, instead of the announcement that there should be more councillors because comparable cities operate with more, the message would be that they too should operate with less!

Colin Rorison, Howgate, Edinburgh

Raising awareness over SAD syndrome

I was saddened to read of the sudden death of Sean Lawson of Dundee at the age of only 21 years, our thoughts are with his family and all who knew Sean.

SADS UK is often contacted by people whose lives have been shattered when a seemingly healthy person dies so unexpectedly.

We offer information and support to families that have been affected by a sudden death. The charity has six medical advisors who are specialists with regard to Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome.

The deaths of people who were in the limelight such as Marc Vivien Foe, Cameroonian international footballer and Richard Butcher, player at Macclesfield Town FC, as well as the unexpected death of Stephen Gately from Boyzone have been widely reported.

However, sudden death occurs more often than is generally recognised and people from all walks of life are affected, the list of victims is long and endless; as is the passion of parents and loved ones to raise further awareness to end tragic deaths of such vibrant young people.

SADS UK is working to improve understanding of conditions and symptoms that may indicate a person is at risk. The charity distributes ‘The Warning Signs’ to training schools, medical establishments, schools and other youth organizations. The charity especially highlights the fact that young people can suffer from cardiac conditions. SADS UK has urged Government to introduce cardiac assessment at the GP surgery to question family and personal medical history to identify people at risk. The charity is also urging the wide placement of defibrillators in the community and in all schools. This vital piece of equipment helped save the life of Fabrice Muamba.

Awareness and understanding are fundamental in preventing loss of further life, both within the same family and other families as yet unaffected. The Warning Signs are:-

Family history of unexpected, unexplained sudden death of an apparently healthy person.

Fainting or seizure during physical activity, especially if it happens repeatedly or resulting from emotional excitement, emotional distress, startle or on arousal from sleep.

Consistent or unusual chest pain and/or abnormal shortness of breath during exercise.

For further information please contact, Anne Jolly, SADS UK 01277- 811215, email info@sadsuk.org