Letters: Scots Tories must complete U-turn on minimum prices

SNP wants to curb sale of cheap alcohol
SNP wants to curb sale of cheap alcohol
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With the reports that David Cameron wants to follow the Scottish Government’s lead and introduce a minimum price for alcohol, there is now no excuse for the Tories in Scotland not to back the Scottish Government’s own proposals.

The Scottish Tories’ previous demand was that alcohol pricing be tackled on a UK-wide basis, and this is now the case.

David Cameron’s U-turn is extremely welcome, and it is good to see the PM stand up to the intense lobbying of the alcohol industry and instead listen to the overwhelming support amongst police, the medical profession, the churches, all four chief medical officers across the UK, alcohol charities and many more.

It is time that the Scottish Tories did the same or the “booze cruises” they claim would happen should such pricing be introduced in Scotland, but not in England, would now be the other way if there was no minimum pricing policy north of the Border.

As with the smoking ban England is now following Scotland’s lead.

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh

Redefining of marriage absurd

SOMETIMES someone has to stand up and say “wait a minute, this is not right” and that’s exactly what Cardinal Keith O’Brien is doing now.

People have to put emotion to one side and realise that the government is talking about “redefining” marriage and this cannot happen as it is completely absurd – you can’t call two completely different relationships by the same name!

How are they different? The natural result of one is children, the other is no children. Standing up for traditional marriage is not a crime and those who defend it should not be accused of bigotry/homophobia/intolerance. Name-calling just deflects people’s attention away from the issue at hand.

Martin Conroy, Oldhamstocks, East Lothian

It’s time to get in touch with voters

I WAS astonished at Colin Keir’s claim that he is more in touch with the community than Karen Keil (Letters, February 29).

Since he voted to close Drumbrae Primary School, he has not been to a single parent council meeting at Clermiston Primary School, one of the two “receiving” primary schools. I understand the same applies to East Craigs, the other primary school affected by the closure.

Previously Councillor Keir told representatives of the three primary schools that he would vote in line with what his party told him to. Was this the action of someone in tune with his local community – a community in which it was the democratic decision of three parent councils and their parent forums to oppose closure?

Cllr Keir also ironically boasts about a new care home in the area. Ironic in that they are bulldozing two old facilities and instead of redeveloping these old sites they are building a new one on the site of . . . Drumbrae Primary School.

Nursery places are short in the area and parents are concerned about increasing overcrowding in the remaining primaries – as predicted by the local parent councils before the closures. Of course he would be aware of this if he chose to come along to parent council meetings as many other councillors in other parts of the city apparently do.

Martin Williams, Parkgrove Drive, Edinburgh

Success rate with re-letting homes

I TAKE issue with Councillor Burgess’ attack on the council’s record on empty homes (Letters, March, 2). We have the best performance of any urban council housing service for re-letting homes.

Only 0.52 per cent (117) of council housing stock is empty for over a year and this figure is going down. That is a remarkable achievement.

Why is this so low? Perhaps this is because we have a successful range of options for property owners to let their property to homeless people.

Cllr Burgess seems to think that because the council has not signed up to a website run by Channel 4 and Shelter that equates to the council behaving “shamefully”. That is over the top.

The website is not as effective at targeting those who are most likely to bring their empty homes into use as the methods we are using.

Councillor Paul Edie, housing leader, Edinburgh City Council