Letters: It’s time to debate ERI’s PFI contract at Holyrood

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Have your say

I am so glad that the campaign for a Holyrood debate on the way the Royal Infirmary is run is gaining support from influential groups such as the British Medical Association and Unison (News, September 3).

The situation at this hospital needs to be addressed, it seems as though Consort has us over a barrel with their Private Finance 
Initiative (PFI).

It has been one thing after another, highlighted in this paper, such as flies and pigeons being found to have contaminated sterilised areas, with the consequence of delaying surgery. Then there is the fact that people have to pay to park at the ERI. This seems like the ultimate tax on the sick, families who have loved ones with long-term illnesses are having to pay a fortune on a daily basis just to visit them during their treatment.

And then this paper reported that the fines payable by Consort when they are at fault amount to less than £30 a day. The contract appears to be set in stone, with no hope of returning the hospital maintenance to the public purse and also no hope of any sort of accountability or compensation on the part of Consort.

We cannot let this situation continue. I do hope that Jim Eadie MSP succeeds in his campaign, and that a discussion will find a loophole to get us out of this ridiculous PFI contract. Someone somewhere is making a profit from what should be a public service already paid for by taxpayers.

Veronica Noble, Morningside, Edinburgh

Tram stops don’t keep Scottish weather out

The news that York Place, below, is no longer a construction site (News, September 5), is really good. Overall completion is getting closer by the week. Once up and running the naesayers might actually think it will be of long term benefit to the city. A lot of us do.

There is always a problem though. Tram stop shelters. Great piece of design, but sadly will be found to be wholly inadequate for their intended purpose. Surely someone said during the design and procurement process that this isn’t going to work. Surely.

Edinburgh’s bus stop 
shelters are bad enough.

Take the installed tram shelters out and give us simple punters a design that will provide respite from the elements. Please.

Graham Davidson, Sighthill, Edinburgh

Osborne’s policies don’t help the needy

George Osborne says the economy is “on the mend”. This may be the case, but allow me to point out a few “home truths” to Mr Osborne.

Under the coalition government we have our highest ever foreign aid budget, with corrupt leaders spending millions of pounds of it on private jets and mansions.

We also have libraries, schools, hospitals and day care centres for the disabled shutting down all over the UK because of coalition cuts, and the Bedroom Tax is ruining thousands of people’s lives every day.

So, yes, the economy may be healing, but all the wrong people are suffering from George Osborne’s policies and he should be ashamed of himself.

Alan Lough, Boroughdales, Dunbar, East Lothian

Have a tea party and help support epilepsy

I am writing to ask your readers with a sweet tooth to support people with epilepsy and get involved in National Tea and Cake Break on Friday, October 18.

This event raises money for national charity Epilepsy Action, which aims to support the 54,000 people with epilepsy in Scotland.

The event is the perfect excuse for tea drinkers and cake lovers to get together with friends, family, colleagues or schoolmates and indulge! There are all sorts of ways to participate, from a cup of tea and a cupcake in your kitchen with friends, to an office tea party or school bake sale.

Everyone who registers to hold a National Tea and Cake Break will receive a free pack. This includes teabags and biscuits to get your event off to a sweet start, as well as bunting and wonderfully crafty cupcake covers.

This year, we have a delicious selection of new celebrity recipes for you to try out, featuring cakes and bakes from stars of past series’ of the Great British Bake Off.

Every year, around 32,000 people are diagnosed with epilepsy – that’s 87 every single day. Every penny raised from this event will help us to continue our vital work in supporting the 600,000 people with epilepsy across the UK.

To register for a free tea break fundraising pack, visit epilepsy.org.uk/teabreak or call the fundraising events team on 0113 210 8800.

Michael White, Fundraising Events Officer, Epilepsy Action

Will complex history influence your vote?

As an atheist, republican and Scot, my oath of allegiance to a Queen of England was compromised and made me a collaborator at a time when that was a situation I had to live with. I had incidentally just prior signed the National Covenant, where my true loyalty lay, which was however no more than a futile gesture.

At that time in my life I was then faced with the choice of being an Anglian or a Roman with respect to military service/religion and I opted for being one of Marius’ mules and otherwise the lesser of two evils.

Next year we all face the choice of being Briton or Caledonian when some people will have to put up or shut up.

David McPhillips, Broomfield Crescent, Edinburgh

BBC let Tattoo down

It is unfortunate that the BBC chose to cut the boy soloist from its broadcast of the Tattoo. The time required could have been taken off the pipes and drums. And why weren’t the various bands identified before they started their routines, out of courtesy?

CJR Fentiman, Polwarth Gardens, Edinburgh