Letters: Seeking to blame others is not hiding council’s failure

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Have your say

Councillor Paul Godzik, the education leader, knows that it is the long- standing legal protection of Portobello Park as common good land that has stopped the attempt to develop the park (News, March 22).

The council caused delay to replacing the school by refusing a joint approach to the courts for a legal determination on whether they could build on Portobello Park.

In addition, regardless of any court decision, no construction work could have taken place until the council appropriated the park, and that was not agreed until April 2012.

However, the subsequent appeal decision ruled that this was ultra vires and the council had no power to appropriate.

So, any delay can only be attributed to the failure to establish the legal right to do what was proposed.

Seeking to blame others for the delay is an attempt to divert attention from how the council has mismanaged this project or is Cllr Godzik really saying he supports the council doing work it has no legal power to carry out?

Stephen Hawkins, West Brighton Crescent, Edinburgh

Keep Victorian ideas to yourself

Essential Edinburgh’s call to “ban begging” in the city centre is appalling (News, March 25).

This is an organisation whose last contribution into the debate about the future of the city centre was a 1960s-style call for more car parking. Now it seems it wants to extend retro-policy still further with a return to Victorian times – sweeping social problems out of sight to other areas of the city and promoting an idealised sanitised city centre given only over to chain-stores.

It would be great to have an Edinburgh where no-one was begging, but only because as society we had addressed the problems of poverty and hopelessness that are the root cause. Simply criminalising begging would do nothing to address these problems and until it has something more constructive to say Essential Edinburgh should keep its out-of-date opinions to itself.

Steve Burgess, convener, Green Group

SNP is best bet to beat bedroom tax

I WISH Cammy Day well in his attempts to stop the “bedroom tax” which will cost Scottish tenants £53 million a year (letters, March 22).

But he is misguided if he thinks that a future UK Labour government will repeal this legislation designed to solve a problem in London yet applied to Scotland by a UK government and opposed by 90 per cent of Scottish MPs at Westminster to no avail.

However, no-one in the Labour UK leadership has said they would abolish the bedroom tax and Labour MP Helen Goodman, who sits on the party’s National Policy Forum, said that the bedroom tax should apply if people have been offered a smaller place to live and turned it down.

At Westminster Labour MPs were whipped to abstain rather than vote against Tory/Lib Dem legislation to prevent job seekers’ entitlement to a minimum wage in job placement schemes and at Holyrood last week Labour let down Scottish pensioners when they abstained rather than vote for legislation that is essential for the National Bus Concessionary Travel scheme to continue.

Therefore it is far more likely that a Scottish Parliament after independence would scrap the bedroom tax tong before an ambivalent Labour Party directed by Ed Miliband.

Calum Stewart, Montague Street, Edinburgh

Action is needed for city masonry

The latest incident of falling masonry, this time on Earl Grey Street (News, March 23), highlights the need for a thorough safety examination of all buildings thought to be a risk to the public.

Its lucky nobody was injured or killed but before there is another tragedy the necessary action should be taken.

Angus McGregor, Albion Road, Edinburgh

Beware the bus backpacker bash

Last week I boarded the Balerno bus into town – packed like sardines, I was seated next to a lady.

Suddenly, a six-foot man lurched his body all over us and his huge luggage hit me in the eye, causing me a bruise.

These “weapons of mass disruption” should carry a danger warning.

Sylvia M DeLuca, Juniper Green, Edinburgh