Essential Edinburgh is surely wrong (Concern £3 parking fee will drive visitors out of town, News, February 9). Can anyone truly point to an example of modern city centre renaissance which has been led by “more and better parking”?
I can understand businesses feeling wounded by the way the tram project has been managed, but I cannot see a future in which city centre businesses compete in a race to the bottom with out-of-town shopping centres or Amazon.
It is a race they will always lose no matter how many city centre car-parking spaces are added or how cheap they are made. And, in the meantime, at the huge cost of increased congestion and air pollution.
As your columnist Gina Davidson has said, we need a new story for our city centre. It should be one which builds from its incomparable setting and is enhanced by the visionary Gehl report, commissioned by the city council and gathering dust; served by excellent public transport and cycle-ways; where walking is king and where parking priority is given to essential car-users such as disabled people.
In this kind of city centre, the retail offer may evolve – fewer chain stores, more distinctively Edinburgh businesses – but it offers a vibrant future still.
Councillor Nigel Bagshaw, Green transport spokesperson
Tories are picking on the vulnerable
I HAVE been chronically ill since 1988. However, around 1996 my Disability Living Allowance was stopped despite having a long list of severe diagnosed conditions and my medics and social services protesting, and I ended up having to vacate my home.
Five years later my DLA was reinstated and I never thought I’d be in that dire position again.
But now our Tory government have decided that single occupants like myself should be taxed £10-£15 a week for an extra bedroom.
Of course this won’t stop at £15 and will continue until we are taxed for the whole amount.
This comes from a Prime Minister who went to Eton and had the best advantages in life that most of us could only dream of.
But we supposedly live a democracy, and the Tory party’s only raison d’etre is to serve us.
However, they appear to have no idea what the real world is like, so how can they serve us if they have no respect for us?
Whilst they own numerous properties with second and third homes scattered around the world, they begrudge those who live on or just above the breadline and may have lived in their homes 30-plus years, and will now have to move out or pay up.
They haven’t done this to the wealthy or even to those who are earning good salaries, they have targeted the disadvantaged, disabled and most vulnerable of our society.
Elaine Pomeransky, Restalrig Gardens, Edinburgh
Only silence over Trading Standards
After 400 years of semi-democratic government we finally have a parliament at Westminster which realises its voters actually care about what they eat, and is reluctantly taking action to control the renegade businesses that have been manipulating the food chain to maximise their profits.
A pity the same can’t be said of Holyrood: Trading Standards are a devolved power, and the silence from that odd-shaped building at the foot of the Mile has been deafening.
Maybe they’ve all taken an early break, or – to give them the benefit of the doubt – are off work with food poisoning.
David Fiddimore, Nether Craigwell, Calton Road, Edinburgh
Investing in way ahead for stadium
I WANTED to reassure residents as to Edinburgh City Council’s position regarding Meadowbank following the announcement of the budget on Thursday.
We agreed to invest £60,000 in developing options and conducting an extensive consultation on the venue’s future.
Despite its age, Meadowbank remains an extremely popular venue, attracting more than half a million visits a year, and it is important that we reach a decision as soon as possible and in the best interests of Edinburgh.
Through this process, we will give the local community, users, athletes and all other stakeholders every opportunity to have their say.
Councillor Norma Austin Hart, vice-convener of culture and leisure committee