LETTERS: Music school more in tune with public opinion

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opINION polls show the overwhelming majority of our citizens who were asked want to see the old Royal High School rescued by a pair of ‘Inca-style’ terraced hotel buildings.

If this is truly a reflection of views, the city planning department ought to have been inundated with letters from supporters of the hotel scheme. They cannot all have been on holiday in Peru at the time.

What does this latest poll really prove? Most of us believe hotel use is OK, the designs are good and World Heritage status is not likely to be withdrawn.

I agree with all that, but I am one of the objectors.

I believe music school use would be preferable, the hotel designs do not fit in with the location and our precious architectural heritage would be contaminated if approval were granted for an entirely alien intrusion.

If the pollsters had given the polled a choice between the rival options, we might have read a different headline - Music school more in tune with public opinion.

Alan Murphy, Learmonth Grove, Edinburgh

Don’t repeat mistakes of 1960s architects

AS a decision of the Calton Hill development looms, I do hope today’s architects will not repeat the blunders on the 1960s.

As witness, look at the ugly looking shops towards the west end of Princes Street. The architects then took no cognisance of the existing, older architecture, which is a credit to Princes Street.

Edinburgh, like Prague and other historic European cities, has some outstanding buildings and I think it would be insulting to the citizens of Edinburgh if the proposed hotel on Calton Hill were to go ahead.

Let us keep ‘Scotia’s darling seat’ the envy of the world.

David Turner, Claverhouse Drive, Edinburgh

Emmerdale becoming a porn channel show

ONCE upon a time the ITV soap Emmerdale Farm was a pleasant and delightful saga of a village farming community, so innocent that I allowed my children to watch it.

Fast forward to November 24 and I was horrified by the controversial and disgusting story line, well before the now non-existent 9pm watershed.

This ITV soap has passed the decency line and become pure porn. Child actors are sometimes involved in adult conversations.

It is time to say enough is enough and bring back the censor. I complain to Ofcom with no satisfaction - we can only switch off as the rating go down.

The writers of this filth should clean up their act.

Mrs Sylvia De Luca, Baberton Park, Juniper Green, Edinburgh

Tougher sentencing would cut knife crime

SERIOUS assaults are on the increase (‘Police chief says booze is to blame for increase in violence’, News, November 25). Is any sensible person surprised?

The real reason is not alcohol but rather a lack of deterrent.

At this moment the Scottish Government is considering extending its move to scrap prison sentences of up to three months to as long as 12 months.

Meanwhile, almost half of all criminals who are given a payback order instead of a prison sentence fail to complete it.

From Freedom Of Information figures I obtained recently for the calendar year 2014, 1889 people were caught carrying a knife or bladed instrument in Scotland.

I don’t remember hearing or reading of anyone being jailed for carrying a knife in the past year or two, but maybe other readers can correct me.

I do remember the Scottish Government saying in December 2013 that ‘knife carriers face being locked up for four years if they are caught during a Christmas crackdown’.

My solution to bringing down the number of serious assaults is:

1 Immediately build more prisons (the SNP scrapped £425m poll tax debt last January which could have been put towards this purpose).

2 Jail anyone caught carrying a knife for two years, with no early release.

3 For using a knife a minimum of five years with no early release.

I guarantee that once word got around of serious sentences for serious crimes, we could reduce these serious assault figures by 50-60 per cent within six months.

Tony M Watt, High Street, Kirkliston, West Lothian

Time to build people into traffic planning

THANKS to roadworks on Leith Street, this four-lane dual carriageway has been reduced to two lanes for the last few months.

Traffic seems to be flowing fine. Let’s learn from the roadworks and create a real city street with more space for pedestrians and cyclists.

Eugene Mullan, architect and director, Leith Walk, Edinburgh

Don’t forget a pet is not just for Christmas

I HOPE members of the public will take heed and not buy pets as Christmas presents (News, December 2).

When the novelty has worn off, many animals are dumped like rubbish.

Mike Flynn, chief superintendant at Scottish SPCA is right to say that it’s an upsetting reality in the weeks and months after Christmas that their centres are often asked to take in pups, kittens and other animals give as presents.

Mrs June Fleming, Hercus Loan, Musselburgh