Martin Hannan has praised me in his column for requesting a report on New Psychoactive Substances (News, January 27).
While praise from Martin is always welcome, I wouldn’t want this to detract from the difficult and important work carried out by Police and NHS colleagues who are in the front line battling to contain the harmful impact of NPS use.
Both agencies need our ongoing support in this respect, hence the decision by the Health and Social Care Committee on Tuesday to ask the council to contact the UK and Scottish governments to discuss the legal framework relating to these drugs and the ability of public bodies to take effective action.
From the information I have seen I am particularly concerned about the impact on two groups, first, intravenous drug users and second, a growing fear that NPS are being used by our student population with horrific and sometimes tragic consequences.
I am sure interest in this topic will develop in the months ahead as communities become increasingly aware of the problems caused by NPS around them.
Your continued focus and coverage of this troubling issue is both necessary and much appreciated.
Councillor Ricky Henderson, Convenor of Health Social Care and Housing, City of Edinburgh Council
Gorgie has bright future given the right choices
As a councillor whose area touches on part of Gorgie Road I share some of Kate Higgins’ observations about the future of Gorgie (‘Forgotten Gorgie can thrive, given the chance’, News, January 28).
Some of the blame, I believe, lies directly with planning decisions, with large supermarkets accelerating the loss of trade for local shops.
Ironically, the Fruitmarket site, which Kate rightly laments as neglected, now has planning consent for yet more large retail space, which will add further pressure to local shops – even though the 114 new homes earmarked for there are welcome.
A few years back the council had a real focus on promoting the local high streets, but the impetus for that has been lost as Business Improvement Districts seem the only game in town.
More needs to be done to make Gorgie welcoming to pedestrians and cyclists who, we know, support local trade best of all.
In an area with high numbers of rented properties, a real drive to raise the quality of private landlords and agents would reap dividends for each street.
And it is important to celebrate what is good as well. The high school offers what I think is one of the best school environments in the city and the £5 million refurbishment of Saughton Park will, in time, draw people to the area just as much as people flock to the Botanics in Inverleith now.
Gorgie has a bright future if the right choices are made in the coming years.
Gavin Corbett, Green Councillor for Fountainbridge - Craiglockhart
Forget fines and try emptying our bins
Instead of fining people over refuse disposal, the council should get its act together.
Before Christmas my food bin was left behind when all the others in the street were emptied. After numerous calls to CEC it was left until the following scheduled collection.
Despite a call back from a complaints person who assured that this would not recur, once again the collectors failed.
On returning from shopping today I found that my bin had been emptied but one of the bags had been left in the middle of the road. To avoid the bag being split and contents scattered by the inclement weather, I replaced it in my bin and contacted CEC.
I was told that if I had left it on the road the cleansing department would have been asked to uplift it, however, I was advised it would be unwise to replace it in the road since I had already put it back in my bin.
I was told that the collectors would not return to complete their job and the bin would not be emptied again until the next scheduled collection day. Anyone else shown to have littered would have been fined. What a farce.
George Goodall, Carrick Knowe, Edinburgh
Council has priorities wrong over transport
Recently the City of Edinburgh Cty Council announced it would cost an estimated £260 million pounds to repair potholes. If the council had not wasted hundreds of millions of pounds on the trams they would have had the money to repair the roads.
The state of some of the roads is disgusting. Lauriston Place opposite the blood transfusion centre is in a bad state. The holes are so bad and close to the kerbside that when buses approach it after heavy rain you have to stand right back in case you get soaked.
Regarding the council’s plans to cut the speed limit to 20 miles an hour in most of the city, it is going to cause more congestion and buses will be late, so making people late for the work and slometimes losing wages.
People who need their cars will be leaving home earlier to get to work, causing a massive build-up of traffic.
Who has traffic convener Lesley Hinds asked and where does she get her information from to say there is a lot of support to this ludicrous scheme? Not the citizens of Edinburgh.
Stephanie Wint, Holyrood Court, Dumbiedykes Road, Edinburgh