I write in response to the letters from Bob Cairns and Steve Burgess (News, November 29) regarding empty flats on the Royal Mile.
I would be concerned if your readers have the impression that this council has anything other than the strongest record on re-letting council flats. Indeed we have cut re-let times over the last four years and the numbers of empty council flats are at a record low.
Bob Cairns’ anger at these flats being emptied to make way for the Mountgrange development has been misdirected at me. The move to re-house residents there was started during the previous Labour administration of which he was a senior member.
As such I am sure Bob would have been aware of this at the time. If not perhaps he should take this up with the then Labour housing executive member, Sheila Gilmore MP.
Regarding Steve Burgess’s contention that these flats can be easily re-let, I would point out that these flats are nine out of two blocks totalling 18. The other flats had already been bought by the developer before Moungrange went under and are empty. I understand that there has been water ingress in the blocks and also that a deal regarding the redevelopment of that area is imminent.
As such it would not be a prudent use of public funds to bring them back into a state where they can be let just in time for the blocks to be demolished.
Paul Edie, convenor of health, social care and housing, Edinburgh City Council
Include polygamy in legal marriages
Although proposals to legalise gay marriage in Scotland have led to disputes between the gay community and faith groups, they are closer in their views than they care to publicly admit.
Both groups accept marriage as the union of two people; it is just the gender mix of the couple on which there is disagreement.
However, if Scotland is to be considered as a modern country which values diversity, then alternative forms of marriage, such as polygamy, should also be granted legal recognition.
Polygamous marriages are illegal in Scotland and England, but those entered into overseas are not only recognised in Britain, but the social security system makes provision for their maintenance.
This is traditional British hypocrisy at its worst. Polygamy should be brought into the mainstream with all people in Britain free to engage in polygamous marriage with the same legal recognition and social esteem as heterosexual, and soon to be, gay marriage.
Women who wish to engage in polyandry should also be free to enter into polyandrous marriage with the same parity of esteem and legal recognition as other forms of marriage.
Ian Stewart, convener Atheist Scotland, Park Avenue, Dundee
No place on terraces for outdated views
My local newspaper in Swindon carried a letter from John Eoin Douglas of Spey Terrace, Edinburgh on November 25.
In it he ranted against “The Scottish Government’s attempts to legislate against ‘offensive behaviour’ (his inverted commas) at football matches” and espoused his views that “The Saturday scrap between opposing supporters is part of the general working class football experience and is well understood by real football fans who inhabit the terraces rather than watching on TV”.
Plainly this is a letter that has been sent to the letters page of as many local newspapers that Mr Douglas can find on the internet, to propound the outdated views of someone who thinks he speaks for more people than for whom he has a mandate.
Mr Douglas, please keep your outdated and offensive views to yourself. REAL football fans – and I speak as a season ticket holder of my club for around 35 years – have no desire to fight with the opposition.
You have not done yourself, or the English supporter’s view of football north of our border any favours, and I have every expectation that real Scottish football supporters will feel exactly the same way as I do.
David Wallis, Calne, Wiltshire
Chancellor is out of this world
After listening to George Osborne’s speech on the economy in his autumn “evaluation” I have come to this conclusion: George Osborne is so far removed from the real world that he should be wearing a spacesuit instead of a shirt and tie.
Alan Lough, Dunbar