Letters: Ridiculous street works are down to poor coordination

A path was built around a street light at Inch Park. Picture: Julie Bull
A path was built around a street light at Inch Park. Picture: Julie Bull
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I read with amusement the article re the problem at Inch Park where a path was built around a street light (News, November 6). This is by no means the first time this has happened.

Around two years ago a very narrow pavement on the west side of Hope Lane, Portobello, adjoining Portobello Golf Course, was widened to one metre so it could be used by wheelchairs and prams etc. Needless to say the existing lamp standards were left in place while the work was completed. This resulted in them being in the middle of the new pavement and defeating the purpose of the work. The pavement was then dug up to resite the lamp standards and the pavement patched.

A similar event took place on Duddingston Park South when a pedestrian island was installed close to my house, which took a year to complete. The bollards did not light up due to no electrical cable having been installed so they were dug out and replaced by reflective bollards. Then a central lamp standard was installed right in the middle of the narrow crossing part. This was then dug out and moved to one side to leave sufficient room for a wheelchair or pram to cross.

It makes one wonder if the city council employs anyone to programme and coordinate these fairly small projects. Perhaps they were too busy coordinating the trams!

John M. Tulloch, Duddingston Park South, Edinburgh

Librarians are lifeblood of education system

So city chiefs plan to cut vital library staff in secondary schools (News, November 7)?

As a principal teacher of English in a Lothian high school, I found the presence of a full-time librarian 
invaluable.

There is no substitute for their expertise. They encourage pupils to use library resources in book form or when researching online. A good library is a calm refuge from a busy classroom, and the librarian provides face-to-face contact, supplementing the teacher’s input. Busy teachers rely on this back-up, and the facilities can also be used for presentations. Staff are able to arrange for guests to address pupils and staff. I was privileged to arrange appearances by distinguished poets such as Sorley Maclean and Norman MacCaig in the library.

The cooperation of the librarian was essential. To cut such staff is to drain the lifeblood from our education 
system.

Alasdair H Macinnes, Granton Road, Edinburgh

War between cyclists and motorists helps no-one

I read with disappointment Alistair Macintyre’s letter (News, November 8) commenting on your story about the motorist caught eating a bowl of cereal while driving (News, November 1).

His letter started so well, condemning this utterly reckless behaviour, but it soon turned into a rant against cyclists. If it had been anyone else who had caught the offender out – a pedestrian, a bus passenger, a fellow motorist – I suspect Mr Macintyre would have been less angered. But he clearly dislikes cyclists and sees this story as a sort of one-up-manship: cyclists one, motorists nil.

This is an utterly ridiculous attitude. We are all road users and some of us are responsible while others aren’t. Ironically, in his letter he says “I call for fair treatment of all road users”. Well, why not practice what you preach, Mr Macintyre?

Somehow managing to turn a negative story about a motorist into a rant against cyclists is petty and educates no-one.

Brian Armstrong, Cramond, Edinburgh

Let people retire early so young can fill jobs

How crazy is the situation now where there are over one million young people out of work and older people are made to work for years after reaching 65?

We could tackle the problem, using the skills and experience of a longer living population for the benefit of the community and the individual taking part. For example, the retiring age stays at 65 for the state pension but, as an option, people can retire at 62, getting their state pension providing they take up nine hours per week working with a community organisation.

This would release jobs for young people. The skills and experience of the older person would be available to the community. The older person would have some work satisfaction, dignity and a better life quality. The steady replacement of people taking part would benefit the whole nation.

A Delahoy, Silverknowes Gardens, Edinburgh

Number of bedrooms shouldn’t affect rebate

Housing benefit is a rebate deducted from the rent that a tenant owes their landlord in return for letting them a property.

What this rebate amounts to is determined by the tenant’s council, taking account only of his or her financial circumstances. If these warrant the tenant qualifying for a rebate, the rebate application by the council must be a legal requirement and therefore if a tenant is found to qualify for a rebate from the rent due for a house with two bedrooms, for instance, one of which was occupied by someone who’s moved out, this doesn’t necessarily alter the tenant’s financial circumstances.

So it would surely be unlawful for their council to discontinue applying the rebate as the number of occupied bedrooms in the property have no bearing on its legal determination.

Gordon Lothian, Restalrig Gardens, Edinburgh

Veteran is true hero

Praises to war veteran Tom Gilzean aged 93, who has raised £20,000 so far this year for the Sick Kids Friends Foundation (News, November 2).

Through his well known collections on the Royal Mile he has helped the charity provide state-of-the-art equipment and improve services for children in the Capital.

Tom has been collecting for charity for years and has no intention of calling it a day. He is a truly remarkable 
inspiration. Bless him.

June Fleming, Hercus Loan, Musselburgh, East Lothian