The Caltongate proposals were approved by eight votes to six. I voted for the application after listening to the comments of Alexander McCall Smith (Caltongate ‘would be a disaster for the Capital’, News, January 29) and weighing the other evidence and contributions.
It is not sufficient to focus on one or two issues – important though they may be – to the detriment of many other important considerations. In this case the heritage consideration was one of many. The ability to deliver what has been a troubled project in order to meet the needs of the city as a whole as well as those local population.
Edinburgh needs more housing, more Grade One office space, and yes, even more hotel accommodation for the many visitors we welcome to our city. The improvement to public spaces is dramatic. The development will provide facilities, jobs and a much needed improvement in the physical environment for people who work and live in the immediate area.
I don’t for a moment consider the proposals perfect – or as dynamic and bold as I would have liked. But I, for one, see my task as getting the best outcome by taking a balanced and pragmatic view of all the issues. I appreciate that those, such as the heritage bodies and their representatives, who make passionate representations of their own views, contribute to informing the process and the decision I have to make.
But those who shout loudest do not always express the best arguments.
Cllr Cameron Rose, Conservative Group Leader, City Chambers, Edinburgh
No endorsement for separation proposals
Before drawing conclusions from the Cowdenbeath election result, Alex Orr (Letters, January 28) should note that 65 per cent of the electorate were so concerned about who represents them that they could not be bothered to vote.
This means that only 9.89 per cent of the Cowdenbeath electorate supported the SNP.
Hardly a ringing endorsement of their separation proposals.
Malcolm Parkin, Gamekeepers Road, Kinnesswood, Kinross
Green brigade will join the dole queue
K POLLARD asks if I had seen the TV programme from China where they are closing coal-fired power stations. (Letters, January 24).
I did not but we will wait and see since the Chinese are very good with smoke and mirrors.
This information does not change the contents of my letter in that we must repeal the Climate Change Act, reduce unsustainable renewables subsidies and grow the UK economy.
There are growing signs that politicians are wakening up to the green scam and that the EU are trying to save face. Binding national targets for renewable energy are to be dropped after 2020.
Enthusiasm and support for wind, solar and even less well-developed technologies is already declining and will drop off substantially after 2020.
I foresee a lot of wind farm developers and the green brigade wearing sackcloth and ashes and joining the unemployment queues.
Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow
No way to welcome visitors to our city
For those who remember, Edinburgh Waverley station had a very simple and effective traffic system in which taxis and other vehicles entered by the north ramp, set down or uplifted in the main area and left by the south ramp.
At busy times, it was possible to see up to 15 taxis lined up on the North ramp ready for intending passengers.
The idea of “drip feeding” taxis into the station may well cause congestion on the bridge and frustration amongst passengers if a crowded express train pulls in. This is no way to welcome passengers to Edinburgh by treating them as possible terrorists.
CJR Fentiman, Polwarth Gardens, Edinburgh
Vital services must be protected from cuts
As a coalition of leading independent and third sector providers of children’s services, we are deeply concerned by the threat of potential funding cuts to vital services for children across Scotland’s councils.
This is a view echoed by the Educational Institute of Scotland. In this context we have launched a national petition calling upon the Scottish Government to ensure Scotland’s councils protect vital children’s services when setting their future budgets.
The petition forms part of our Scotland wide campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of potential council cuts to children’s services.
Demands on children’s services are at their highest since 1981, with the latest figures indicating that 16,248 children are looked after by councils.
On top of this there has been an 89 per cent increase of those with additional support needs in Scotland since 2010, with figures now standing at 118,034. These increases are set against a backdrop of council cuts and the UK Government threatening £25 billion more cuts to come.
Councils are therefore being required to achieve more with less and this serves only to increase the barriers that children’s services departments face in delivering the best outcomes for vulnerable young people.
We must do all we can to protect the provision of these vital services.
The Scottish Children’s Services Coalition comprising: Tom McGhee, managing director, Spark of Genius; Duncan Dunlop, chief executive, Who Cares? Scotland; Stuart Jacob, director, Falkland House School; Sophie Dow, founder, Mindroom; Sophie Pilgrim, director, Kindred