Letters: Lower the kerbs and raise mobility for scooter users

Many less mobile people use scooters

Many less mobile people use scooters

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Having been recently reduced to getting out and about Edinburgh via an electric powered mobility scooter (through bad health and old age), I see the world in an entirely different light.

I never gave the lowered pavements on most corners of streets a second thought until now, I just thought they were there to assist mothers with prams and so on.

As my buggy has only two inches of clearance from the underside to the pavement, these ramps are a godsend to wheelchair and mobility scooter users. If only all pavements were lowered, it would be a perfect Edinburgh.

One of the problems I have is the general public, who stand two or three abreast on the pavement chatting away, and it’s most annoying when one of these people sees you coming and just stands there as if to say “go round me”.

I did toy with the thought of getting one of those American trucker’s horns to warn them I am approaching, but I think that would mean a visit home for a change of clothing for most of them!

B J Hayward, Carrick Knowe Loan, Edinburgh

Tradition should not bar progress

IT would be sensible for all Scottish councils to remove prayers from the formal agenda of what is a civic institution. (News, May 22).

Secularists have no objection to councillors who are religious getting together for prayer prior to meetings or any other time of their choosing, and uphold the right of those who wish to do so at the appropriate time and place.

But that time and place is not during formal council business in the chamber, and prayers should not be part of the formal agenda.

The one pertinent question that is never asked by those who object to prayers being removed is this: why is prayer part of civic business in the first place?

That in turn prompts other questions, such as who decided that it should be, other than the vested interests in the churches?

And why, when it comes to religion, is it imagined that “tradition” trumps all else? If society never changed and never abandoned any traditions, we would still be trading slaves, persecuting people for being gay and denying women the vote – all traditions firmly rooted in the Bible!

Society evolves. Tradition should not be a reason to halt progress and keep us living in a past that is long gone.

Alistair McBay, National Secular Society, Atholl Crescent, Edinburgh

Council TV well worth watching

IT is encouraging that Edinburgh City Council has decided to trial a pilot TV screening of its main monthly meetings (News, May 21).

However, it seems important that the public learn also about the way the meeting is conducted (Standing Orders), and some parties’ use of the whip (vote according to party lines, rather than conscience, if I’m being cynical).

It might be salutary to remember some primary children’s questions after visits during my time there. Why were so many people rude to each other? Why did the Lord Provost fall asleep? Why were so many councillors out of the room for so long? And, my favourite, for the finance convener: Are you the taxwoman?

At its best, people will view 58 councillors who care deeply about our city doing their level best for us.

Moyra Forrest, city councillor 1990-2003, Starbank Road, Edinburgh

Final coverage was a winner

THANKS to the News for its splendid coverage of the Scottish Cup final.

The statement on last Saturday’s front page that “This is our day” certainly brought a lump to my throat.

Newspapers throughout the UK have an easy time supporting their local teams, but we are privileged in Edinburgh to have two of the oldest football clubs in the world, both with a wonderful heritage.

During the weeks before the final, the News had to walk a fine line between supporting both and not showing any bias.

Barry Anderson, David Hardie and their supporting staff achieved that and should be congratulated on a job well done.

David Speed, Stair Park, Edinburgh