TO fund the tram scheme to St Andrew Square the council intends to borrow £231 million, total repayment over 30 years, £462m, APR 100 per cent.
Transport convener Gordon Mackenzie remarked that it’s exactly the same as using a mortgage to buy a house and that the borrowing will not affect council services (News, August 19), a ridiculous statement and one of many he has made.
A day later council chiefs admit that savage cuts to council services are on the way to pay for the funding and that Lothian Buses will have to contribute £4.8m a year for integration and operational costs for the tram.
Mackenzie should resign. This funding package was supposedly put together by high-flying chief executive Sue Bruce, hardly something to be proud of.
There is a feeling of fear, depression and helpless resignation after the funding plans were announced.
The people of Edinburgh feel isolated. Is there anyone in authority, be it in the Scottish or Westminster governments, who can rein this council in, put an end to this tram scheme, and save our children and grandchildren from being up to their necks in council debt for the next 30 years or more?
Andrew Shiels, Milton Drive, Joppa
Taxi drivers want safety at work
THE article ‘Cabbies tell of living in fear as passenger abuse figures revealed’ (News, August 19) shows just how hazardous the work of a taxi driver can be.
Napier University is to be commended for carrying out research that helps highlight some of the challenges faced in running the essential services that taxis provide.
Of course, the vast majority of the 24 million taxi journeys taken each year in Edinburgh do pass off without incident, but the survey does highlight the problems that can be caused by a minority.
ELTP has been established to help ensure that taxi drivers get fair recognition for the essential role they play in keeping the city moving. We are meeting with key stakeholders to ensure that there is greater recognition for the kinds of challenges the 4500 taxi drivers face.
All drivers want is to be given the chance to make a living without the fear of unfair competition from unregulated transport providers, and as free as possible from the fear of violence and conflict. This research highlights a very important issue and we will be seeking assurances that the council and the police are responding as well as possible to protect drivers and the public.
Bill Purnell, Edinburgh Licensed Taxi Partnership
From forgotten part of the town
I WELCOME Councillor Maureen Child’s motion to the economic development committee about promoting Edinburgh’s seaside more effectively (News, August 22), but I do hope that it will include this part of Edinburgh’s seaside, namely South Queensferry.
Past experience tells me that such initiatives usually manage to neglect, forget or even ignore the fact that Queensferry is part of the city of Edinburgh.
David M Steel, Springfield Terrace, South Queensferry Exciting future at James Gillespie’s
I WAS shocked to read Gina Davidson’s views on the much lauded new James Gillespie’s High School designs (News, August 18).
If Gina had come along to one of our presentations she would have seen the huge support and great excitement within the school community for their new school. The project has been described by Architecture and Design Scotland as being potentially exemplary and the innovative approach to design is being looked on with great interest by other local authorities.
The interior will capture the spirit of a campus environment. The three courtyards will be well used, lively spaces. Sitting under translucent canopies, these areas will provide opportunities for outdoor learning and fresh air.
The new James Gillespie’s High School designs will result in one of the most innovative and exciting schools ever to be built in Scotland.
Cllr Marilyne MacLaren, city education leader