Letters: Sheltered housing can be cheery face of caring

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I READ with interest the article “Capital must find savings worth £35m” published on September 13 and welcome the comments made in the sub-heading that the “Finance chiefs promise to ring-fence services for the elderly, schools and nurseries as consultation on next year’s budget gets under way”.

It was with a further growing interest that I read that the savings, and indeed possible income, would come from various welcome initiatives.

We as a registered tenants’ organisation have previously put forward our case to the council that sheltered housing is a cost-effective and efficient delivery of care to the elderly.

The co-ordinators act as a first point of contact for any problems that residents many have. The tenants find this an easy method to employ rather than resorting to confusing telephone calls where one can be passed from department to department to get a resolution or using the computer, which many elderly can not.

Perhaps, on this point, a note of caution to the council here when they envisage developing their computer system – it will not be all things to all men.

The co-ordinator’s role can also be seen as a filter. Speaking from experience, many a problem has been resolved without the need to call on social, medical or emergency services.

When the need does arise, the co-ordinator does in fact get those services involved.

Without co-ordinators in sheltered housing developments, there will undoubtedly be extra burdens on other services.

More importantly, let us not forget that the co-ordinator is also the cheery, smiling face that greets you every day and knows from experience that, just by looking, how your day is going – you cannot get that from a call system, no matter how good it is.

We have to wait and see, but we sincerely hope that the council follows through on its promises.

Esther Porter, chairperson, Stockaree Tenants’ Organisation, Deanhaugh Street, Edinburgh

Profile means bowlers are the high rollers

Bill Whyte’s criticism of Bowls Scotland (Letters, September 19), is fairly uninformed. Bowls Scotland have really ramped up their advertising of the sport, utilising tools that younger members will have at hand.

My Facebook news line regularly gives me up-to-date information and colour photographs, on a daily basis of any national championships and international series. There was live TV streaming over the internet of this years championships.

The national team wear saltire-themed kits, and currently in the United States are wearing shorts. Diver Tom Daly was in Glasgow the other week and Willie Wood showed him how to bowl, bringing excellent newspaper coverage.

In Glasgow, the city council is making bowling at Kelvingrove free to introduce people to the sport.

In my 30 years bowling, the sport has never felt in better hands at a national organisational level.

However, the business case does not stack up for a council funded indoor bowls venue.

In this day and age leisure buildings need to be in use from 7am till midnight, possibly with phased charging off peak and peak.

Four or five hours use a day for six months of the year with say 20 to 30 people wanting to pay less that £2 a session doesn’t even come close to costs, I would think.

Hugh Thomson, Currievale Drive, Currie

Salmond hasn’t made the history books yet

In reply to Alex Orr (Letters, September 18), the opening ceremony for new students at St Andrews is only three years old.

In my ten-minute speech welcoming new students and introducing them to the university, I make a ten-second reference to four historical figures connected to St Andrews: Mill; Knox; Kipling; and Barrie. We are proud to be the alma mater of the First Minister of Scotland, but far be it from me to cast him as a historical figure.

Louise Richardson, principal, University of St Andrews

A project that should never have happened

I FAIL to see why anybody associated with the Edinburgh trams project is delighted that they will be launched in May 2014.

This project has been a calamity from day one (300 years ago or thereabouts) and has completely failed to live up to any promises made by the city council.

It has only caused grief for shops, transport and residents and will go down in Edinburgh history as the project that should never have happened.

Alan Lough, Boroughdales, Dunbar, East Lothian

Left Pole-axed by shocking geography

I HAVE a special birthday next year and wanted to treat myself to a visit to Auschwitz.

I went to a number of travel agencies to ask about short breaks to Poland. I went to one in Edinburgh city centre and the lady there didn’t know where Krakow was – a travel agent too!

But much worse was the fact that she had never heard of Auschwitz – I was speechless!

People should never, ever forget Auschwitz or what happened there.

If I was younger, I’d train to be a history teacher so I could educate people about the past – nice or nasty.

Clare Murdoch, Inverleith, Edinburgh