Letters: Listening to the real experts would have saved a fortune

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Have your say

WHEN I read about the new traffic shake-up (News, March 18) and saw the plans laid out by Gehl architects which cost £1 million, I felt questions should have been asked of bus and taxi drivers and we the public. This could have saved the council £1m.

On March 11, 2005 the News printed a letter I wrote laying out plans for how to get the traffic moving. The Gehl ideas are very similar to mine.

Maybe politicians should realise they work for us, and should ask the public who pay their taxes if we want or need large projects such as parliament buildings, bridges and so on before handing out blank cheques to companies.

William B Young, Meadowfield Drive, Edinburgh

‘Help to Buy’ will boost the market

I WRITE to welcome the UK Government’s decision to introduce the new ‘Help to Buy’ mortgage guarantee programme.

Under the scheme, the UK Government will guarantee the mortgages for lenders who offer financing to borrowers looking to buy a home but only have small deposits.

This will help those struggling to both get on and move up the housing ladder in Scotland due to onerously high deposit requirements.

To this point, most government programmes, both north and south of the Border, have attempted to incentivise the purchase of new build homes, not existing homes.

It is therefore encouraging to see the UK Government broadening its focus to include the existing home market, as it constitutes over 80 per cent of the housing market as a whole in Scotland alone.

A rejuvenated housing market will provide a firm foundation for economic recovery in both Scotland and across the UK. The Government’s mortgage guarantee programme will aid in this process.

Malcolm Cannon, chief executive, ESPC, George Street, Edinburgh

Labour Party no help to the poor

I AM astonished to learn all our local Labour MPs, with the honourable exception of Mark Lazarowicz, refused to vote against the Tory and Lib Dems Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Bill at Westminster.

This Bill was introduced to prevent the UK government compensating 230,000 jobseekers who had been forced into work placements without pay and will stop any future claims for the national minimum wage, which could otherwise be due to those who spent weeks working for no pay at high street chains.

As Labour has also refused to say it would repeal the “bedroom tax”, it seems that even if elected at Westminster they will continue the onslaught against the poorest in society.

Janice Thompson, Walter Scott Avenue, Edinburgh

Inconsistency in transport policy

I READ with some amazement the comments of Colin Keir MSP about the traffic impact of the new housing being planned in the west of the city. He describes junctions being at ‘bursting point’ and says the areas cannot cope with any further traffic.

This is the same MSP who is a passionate supporter of the additional road bridge being built across the Forth, which we can expect to bring thousands of extra cars into the west of the city.

Alison Johnstone, Green MSP, Lothian

Let’s celebrate our music culture

Since the Victoria and Albert museum in London is celebrating all things David Bowie, perhaps the National Museum of Scotland should take a leaf out of its book and stage an exhibition celebrating the achievements of Scots in the music industry.

From Rollermania to the remarkable achievements of Susan Boyle, Scots have made a fantastic contribution and I’m sure an exhibition celebrating this would go down a treat.

Angus McGregor, Albion Road, Edinburgh

Give the elderly a break, please

I AM sick and tired of constantly hearing about our ageing population. Should we apologise for still being here? Should we consider mass suicide? Perhaps culling might be a better method!

Sylvia M DeLuca, Baberton Park, Juniper Green