Letters: Maintaining Craighouse during delays is costly

Maintaining Craighouse campus costs �250k a year. ''Picture: Alex Hewitt
Maintaining Craighouse campus costs �250k a year. ''Picture: Alex Hewitt
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Adam Morris (News, July 30) is right to highlight the need for Edinburgh’s Craighouse Campus to be restored before it becomes an impossible task.

The Craighouse Partnership has been working closely with council planners, Historic Scotland and Scottish National Heritage with the aim of agreeing a plan for the site.

Securing a sustainable future for seven A-listed buildings (the highest protection) and over 50 acres of grounds is no easy task. While a growing number of people in the local community accept the need for change there is a vocal minority determined to do all they can to frustrate any serious proposal for development that gives it a viable future.

It isn’t fair to suggest that the Partnership isn’t taking its duties seriously – simply maintaining the site in its current condition is costing over quarter of a million pounds a year. Essential maintenance and security measures, such as fencing and guards, are needed to protect the rich architectural heritage of Craighouse.

The plans for Craighouse don’t just save the buildings but will also see almost half the site go into public ownership along with money to help improve the existing local nature reserve. Public access will not only be secured but enhanced and the amount of green space for people to enjoy will actually increase.

The best future for Craighouse is the one the council is considering now. It’s time to work together and secure this precious site without delay.

William Gray Muir (Managing Director, Sundial Properties) Charlotte Square, Edinburgh

We are torn by ‘moral sin of separatism’

Patricia Baillie Strong (Letters, July 29) asks, “What do the separatists want? Can’t we settle our differences and live amicably together as part of the UK?”.

Perhaps the Canadian academic and former Leader of the Opposition, Michael Ignatieff, citing his direct experience of the Quebec referendum of 1995, can provide a better and more objective answer than I can: “This is the moral sin of separatism. Separatist politicians, desiring to be presidents or prime ministers of little countries, force their fellow citizens to make choices that they should not have to make, between identities that they have combined, each in their own unique way, and now watch being ripped apart – one portion of themselves flung on one side of a border, a damaged remnant on the other. If Scotland does secede, there will be many torn souls the day after”.

Amongst those torn souls will be my own, as a proud international Scot who worked overseas for multinational companies headquartered in London, but who came “home” some 16 years ago, to live in Edinburgh – and to spend most of his pension in Scotland!

Two of our three children have since married English spouses and work in London; so separation will turn our four grandchildren from being fellow Brits into officially “foreigners”. As we don’t want that, we have to pray for a “Better Together” majority in the referendum – or else make the emotionally hard decision on whether to apply for English 
nationality ourselves.

Alasdair Fairbairn, Calton Road, Edinburgh

SNP immigration policy will lose Yes votes

Prime Minister David Cameron has announced new hard-line measures aimed at cutting immigration from other European Union states.

It is amazing that “cannot do” changes to “will do” when the anti-immigration and anti-EU party UKIP does so well in polls and elections.

David Cameron says that by November he will reduce the period for which EU migrants could claim benefits from six to three months. In addition he will introduce a system of “deport now, appeal later” for foreign criminals who at present cannot be deported due to their “human rights”.

These measures are to be welcomed.

Compare this with Scotland where the SNP say they want more 
immigration despite high unemployment and the public opposing it.

The SNP should be aware that an immigrant with a wife and two children living in social housing has to earn £32,000 to pay more in tax than he gets in benefits and housing allowance. How many immigrants earn over £32,000?

The SNP immigration policy will lose them the independence vote in September.

Clark Cross,Springfield Road Linlithgow

Upkeep of cemetery is disgrace to Capital

Who on earth is responsible for the upkeep of Morningside cemetery? It’s a disgrace.

It has had a groundswell and is all hillocks and ridges with toppled graves and burials now placed where once were walkways, and in a higgledy-piddledy manner.

Truly a horror story worthy of Edgar Allan Poe. Disgusting.

N Lyell, Colinton, Edinburgh

Economic crisis claim is scare mongering

It was back to plan A from treasury chief Danny Alexander. Another dire warning of life in an independent Scotland. Another looming crisis if voters back independence and another example of Project Fear at work.

This time Mr Alexander said Scotland could face an economic crisis bigger than the banking crash. But with six weeks until decision time, is this really the best message to push?

He knows it’s hogwash but he will say anything to save his job.

What next? Things that go bump in the indy night?

Fred Mills, Spylaw Bank Road, Edinburgh