Letters: Make council staff cough up for their parking perks

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THE entrance to the City Chambers is being used as a “private car park” by two of the city’s most senior councillors (News, January 25).

There is a wider issue here in that council employees all over Scotland have free parking facilities paid for by the taxpayer.

So why should my council tax provide councillors and their employees with free parking?

I have to pay to park. Council employees do not pay for what is benefit-in-kind.

I suggest that employees should pay £5 a day and anyone earning over £40,000 should pay £10 a day.

That would get a bit of income in or force them to take public transport and thus, as they are always preaching, “save the planet”.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

So proud to be a Scot and a Briton

WHAT will happen if Scotland gains independence? Which of the decisions that affect our country are not currently made in Scotland and how will this change if we vote yes? What will the benefits be for our economy? What will we lose out on by not being part of Great Britain?

It is all very well scheduling a referendum for the anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, and asking the question in such a way that “Yes” seems the correct answer, but I cannot help but feel that those people who will vote yes might be doing so without the facts.

I will vote no. I am a proud Scot and a proud Brit and see no reason for devolving away from our great country.

Amy Drysdale, Trinity

Feeble excuses for missing cash

WHY are we constantly subjected to the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer waffling on about the causes of the trillion-pound deficit in the Treasury, putting it down to, inter alia, the decline in the manufacturing and construction industries?

These show through as just feeble, makeshift excuses. Do they think for one minute that the public have forgotten that many billions of pounds were and are squandered on what was described as the illegal daily bombardment of Libya and the enduring, ineffectual campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq?

Perhaps these characters should more properly be explaining who benefited from these offensives. Are they afraid the public will demand that the profiteers put their ill-gotten gains into the public domain and markedly reduce the overstated deficit? After all, it was public funds that enabled them to acquire their booty.

William Burns, Pennywell Road, Edinburgh

Union committed to pay settlement

I READ with dismay the report regarding refuse collectors “demanding” extra payments for moving to a five-day working week (News, January 25). There has never been any such demand made by the unions.

We had asked if there was any way of easing the financial burden that would be experienced by workers who were being asked to work an additional ten weeks per year. It was “asked for” not “demanded”, and discussed fully at various meetings. This additional cost comes on top of the already considerable reduction in refuse collectors’ salaries that was suffered in the modernising pay review.

There has never been any mention of any kind of industrial unrest because of this. Unite officials and stewards met with the city administration on January 24 to reaffirm our commitment to the in- house service.

John Porterfield, vice-convenor, Unite City of Edinburgh Council branch

JK could create a happy ending

THE writer JK Rowling apparently has a fortune of more than £500 million and, although I’ve not read any of her work, I understand she deserves every penny of it. That huge sum was generated largely due to children buying, or being bought, her books.

Edinburgh needs a new Sick Kids’ hospital, but it will cost more than we can afford.

Wouldn’t it be a wonderful gesture if she paid for it? She’d never miss the cash and it could be titled the Harry Potter Hospital. What a legacy that would be.

Norrie Henderson, Meadowhouse Road, Edinburgh