Letters: School extensions will be different class for pupils

School extensions will house pupils
School extensions will house pupils
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As your Editorial comment (January 8) stated, the council sits between “a rock and a hard place” when it comes to the rapid projected rise in primary pupils.

We expect to see a rise of around 20 per cent in P1 pupils by 2020 and a number of our primary schools are already under real pressure. That’s why since taking office in May 2012 the Capital coalition set about looking at the issue through a cross-party working group, which included parental representation and consulted with schools to understand their individual needs.

This included assessing what available space was available to convert to classrooms, and also considered the possible reopening of closed schools, but generally speaking this wasn’t seen as a positive option by parents.

The classrooms will be warm, fresh, and ultimately as good a learning environment as is available in any other Edinburgh school. They will be proudly adorned with pupils’ work as all others are.

The Scottish Government issued guidance on new schools in its Building Better Schools document, a document to which the council contributed extensively. The buildings we are proposing will absolutely meet the aspirations in this guidance, and to say they have “no green ambitions” is wrong.

These buildings will use less energy that the vast majority of the current school estate, and along with their sturdy construction, will reduce life cycle costs of running them. Double glazing with properly insulated walls and roofs will be an improvement to some of the original buildings they’re adjoining.

We have got to provide extra space in these popular schools now or many, many parents will be forced to send their children out of catchment which would prove an extremely unpopular move and a much greater upheaval.

Councillor Paul Godzik, education convener

An unconvincing case from SNP

Alex Salmond plans to conduct a consultation on constructing a constitution for Scotland if electors vote yes in next year’s proposed referendum on Scottish independence (Evening News, January 16).

So we will be asked to vote next year for or against independence for a Scotland with an unknown form of future government.

The SNP has had decades, and the SNP Scottish Government has had nearly six years in office to construct detailed plans for an independent Scotland.

No wonder support for independence remains low.

Who would vote for independence when the case for it is so regularly offered in such an unconvincing way?

Norman Bonney, Palmerston Place, Edinburgh

Too many deaths in Afghan conflict

With the news that the 440th British soldier has died in Afghanistan, I feel I must reiterate my thoughts of 2001, before the invasion took place, that the intrusion was not worth the death of one single life, Afghan (first and foremost) or of one British soldier.

Apparently, I was wrong. Whoever the faceless people are who benefit financially from the atrocities, it is patently clear that the Queen has a lot more “sodjers” to expend for the purpose.

Of course, we are not isolated in our splendid ignorance.

The Americans, for their part, have lost 2,175 servicemen, which, I suppose, is pro rata for their similarly witless indoctrination.

William Burns, Pennywell Road, Edinburgh

Recycling racing to new records

your recent article painted an incomplete picture of the city’s recycling and landfill performance (Evening News, January 16).

In the financial year to date the council has sent the lowest amount of waste to landfill for this period since we began recording data.

And if things continue in line with our current projections, we’re set to beat last year’s landfill figures by a reduction of more than nine per cent.

Recycling tonnages, meanwhile, are already outstripping last year’s performance and recycling has gone up significantly since managed weekly collections were introduced.

Since April 2012, we’ve recycled the highest ever amount for this period in any year since we introduced recycling in Edinburgh.

Councillor Lesley Hinds, transport and environment convener for Edinburgh City Council