LETTERS: Planning decisions not helping clean air cause

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CoMMENTING on health-damaging transport fumes, Lib Dem Edinburgh Western hopeful Alex Cole-Hamilton points out: “Almost 200 Scots die prematurely each year as a result of vehicle emissions and nowhere is this risk more present than in communities that span the arterial roads into Edinburgh” (News, January 20).

And yet, although aware of this, the council last year granted permission for an Aldi, with an 87-bay car park, to be built right beside the busy arterial road Oxgangs Road North, on a site that would have been ideal for much-needed affordable or social housing.

Understandable if there been a lack of supermarket provision in the area, but in fact there are already three big supermarkets in close proximity, all with ‘budget’ lines.

The site is also just yards from Oxgangs Broadway shopping precinct, where there are two convenience stores.

Entrance and exit to this major new car park will cause considerable traffic difficulties as well as fumes.

Is it too late for a rethink?

D Robertson, Friends of Oxgangs, Oxgangs Brae, Edinburgh

Tax banding system needs better balance

I DO not think the SNP is really getting the message about how to reform our tax system, which is in need of a serious makeover to make it more progressive and equal.

The Labour Party is still moving towards a more simplified system of taxation, which would broaden the scope beyond earnings to property, consumption and activities that have a negative impact on people’s lives, especially those on middle and low incomes.

What better way is there of starting than reforming the council tax system, by changing the banding structure to make it more evenly balanced? Also by stopping the council tax freeze, because it is not benefiting householders in real terms of economic savings.

Chas Dennis, Niddrie Marischal Road, Edinburgh

Council tax freeze helps poor and elderly

THE Scottish Government should not consider ending the council tax freeze, as Nicola Sturgeon’s poverty tsar Naomi Eisenstadt, pictured, has said (News, January 21). Increasing the council tax would see our already struggling pensioners and poorer families worse off.

Freezing council tax has been of great help to most of us, so let’s hope it does not rise.

Mrs June Fleming, Hercus Loan, Musselburgh

Pensioners are in for a shock next year

MILLIONS of workers will miss out on pension payments when final salary schemes – “Defined Benefits” – end next year, faced with an £81 billion gap.

This will be a shock for many who grew up in the golden age of guaranteed pensions based on years of service.

Women also face having to work longer because of a rise in their state pension qualifying age.

People will be a lot poorer when they retire.

Jim Hill, Stenhouse Avenue, Edinburgh

Stop carping and start praising NHS

I AM sick of the constant criticism in the national press and on TV of our NHS.

A few months ago I wrote to the News praising the Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion for their caring and wonderful treatment of a member of my family, never thinking that I too would need their help.

I was recently admitted for a cataract operation and the doctors and nurses were superb. I can’t praise them enough. I did not wait long; I was treated with great care and dignity; the operation only lasted 45 minutes and I was given tea and biscuits – all this for free. Aren’t we lucky?

My operation was so successful that I can see clearly small wrinkles I didn’t know I had!

Mrs Sylvia M De Luca, Baberton Park, Juniper Green

Maybe Glasgow can run Edinburgh better!

ONCE again the dimwits in charge of Edinburgh council are showing their contempt for drivers with their stupid 20mph blanket cover of most streets.

We know Edinburgh is a museum piece, but do we need to waste £2m on reducing traffic to the horse and cart era?

That money should be spent repairing the roads and pavements that have been neglected for over 30 years.

20mph is fine near schools and hospitals, even in Princes Street and George Street, but not on roads outwith the city centre.

This is another blunder by an administration that cannot run this city properly.

Maybe we should hand over power to Glasgow councillors, who don’t have crackpot ideas like this bunch.

V Radzynski, Colinton Mains Drive, Edinburgh

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