LETTERS: Leith Theatre could be ideal new home for BBC

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You reported recently on two matters that could be usefully linked: On the one hand, the Leith Theatre is languishing in a state of disrepair, on the other hand, the Pleasance Dome and the BBC’s Potterrow premises are due for demolition to make way for university development.

Surely it would be possible to join up the dots by restoring the Leith Theatre to its considerable former glory and adapting it to serve the BBC’s requirements.

The involvement of the BBC could make all the difference to the venue’s year-round viability, provided that it can also be made versatile enough to offer a broad range of facilities suitable for plays, cinema, concerts, recitals, BBC broadcasts, sports events, fairs and markets, art shows, exhibitions, and anything else that the imaginations of its movers and shakers can devise.

It would mark a huge leap forward for the cultural development of Leith. It would bring more visitors and could become a flagship for all the various delights that Leith has to offer, which are currently largely invisible to the inhabitants of Edinburgh in general and its festival visitors in particular.

Henry Steuart Fothringham, OBE, Aberfeldy

Oil fund won’t work at curent price levels

FRASER GRANT, (Letters, August 7), advocates the SNP policy of creating an oil fund similar to that in Norway.

While this is an attractive policy, it could only be done, as stated by the SNP, when the time is right.

Presumably, an independent Scotland would wish to maintain public services at their present level, at the very least. Hence, when the time is right would mean when the price of Brent crude is well above $100 a barrel, assuming negligible inflation.

From the recent experience of price fluctuations of about $50 per barrel, the oil fund would need to receive about $50 per barrel to protect us from such fluctuations.

We may have to wait quite a while before oil reaches the required $150 per barrel to fund both our expenditure and an oil fund.

John Higinbotham, Bruntsfield Gardens, Edinburgh

UK austerity is not putting off migrants

I wonder if someone from the SNP or Labour’s hard left could explain why it is that if life in Britain today is so awful under the so-called austerity they claim the Conservative government are subjecting us all to, migrants would rather risk their lives to get here rather than remain in France, which has a socialist government.

Donald Lewis, Gifford, East Lothian

Cllr Rankin dodges the key issues on ID

I am grateful to Cllr Alasdair Rankin for his response to my previous letter (‘Council ID questions have no hidden agenda’, Letters, August 8). However, disappointingly, I note that he has carefully sidestepped the central points that I raised.

In particular, he has made no comment whatsoever on my key quotation from the Scottish Government’s Identity Management and Privacy Principles document, Version 2.0, viz. “People should not be asked to prove who they are unless it is necessary. A person making a general inquiry about a service should not need to provide any identifying information.”

And note that according to this stipulation, Edinburgh council should not be requesting any identifying information from general enquirers, never mind the date of birth. Regarding this key point, Cllr Rankin has nothing to say.

The council really needs to study carefully the Scottish Government’s privacy recommendations, and think hard about the implications for its own conduct. As the world becomes ever more challenging for people trying to safeguard their privacy and identities, every encouragement and support needs to be given to them to be constantly protective of their personal information and what they agree to disclose to others on a daily basis.

I would wish to see Edinburgh council becoming part of the solution to people’s privacy and identity problems. Sadly, at present it seems content to remain part of the problem.

Dr John Welford, Boat Green, Edinburgh

Coal still has a major economic role to play

US President Barack Obama has forced stricter targets on coal-fired power plants to reduce their emissions by nearly one third within 15 years.

The overall US emission target remains unchanged.

Numerous US states are highly dependent on the electricity generated from coal and coal provides more than a third of the US electricity.

State governors with coal-mining workforces said they would not comply.

This coal-smoke-screen is being concocted by Obama to ensure a ‘historic agreement’ at the UN Climate Conference in Paris in December.

These conferences have achieved nothing in 18 years.

It has to be questioned why China, India and developing nations will still be allowed to burn coal for decades when they are responsible for 70 per cent of global emissions.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

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