Letters: Site chosen for school less suitable than alternatives

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MY objection to a new school in Portobello Park is not the loss of amenity, or the further erosion of playing fields, or whether one uses the park or not.

This is simply a bad site for a secondary school, a small, cramped, rectangular space adjacent to one of the busiest roads in Edinburgh and its intersection with Duddingston Park Road.

Are supporters of the school not concerned about noxious fumes from heavy traffic, and pupils that may be involved in road fatalities?

There have been comments that this is the only viable site. This is not true. It would have been more appropriate to have built on part of the golf course at Stanley Street and its junction with Park Avenue, transferring the area taken up to the golf course from the park.

A brownfield site that was never considered, right in the heart of the catchment area, is East and West Telferton, combined with the area east of Fishwives Causeway – a huge area with a few industrial buildings that could be demolished and the firms relocated.

AJE Shiels, Milton Drive, Edinburgh

Situation is clear over location

I WOULD like to correct Archie Burns’ impression that the Education, Children and Families Department have not legally clarified the situation regarding the site for the new Portobello High School (Interactive, September 20).

In fact we sought joint counsel’s opinion in 2008, which advised that “the council do not require the prior consent or authorisation of the court to the proposed appropriation by them of part of the park at Portobello for the construction of the proposed new Portobello High School”.

This was reported to the council in December 2008 when the decision was made to proceed with the project. The land remains the property of the council and we believe that the proposal is indeed for the common good of the community.

Marilyne MacLaren, City Education Leader

Probe is needed into trams fiasco

WHY is it that Alex Salmond is refusing to have an independent public enquiry into the trams fiasco now?

Could it be that the SNP are up to their necks in it too? They failed to intervene when it was apparent the line was never going to go to Newhaven. That was when they should have stopped the funding.

The government has a duty of due diligence to ensure public money is spent correctly. They failed to do so. There is also the fact the SNP, which is in coalition in Edinburgh, was voted in on an anti-tram ticket, yet stood back and did nothing.

Delaying an inquiry now will be another slap in the face to the electorate in Edinburgh and will backfire on his party next May.

David Black, Kenmure Avenue, Edinburgh

Thanks to caring city bus drivers

I WAS recently in Edinburgh on vacation with my family.

My son, who is a bus driver in Toronto, and I felt we had to write to compliment the bus drivers of Edinburgh on their courtesy and caring attitude.

It was a pleasure to ride the bus and watch these caring individuals wait patiently for seniors and parents with children to take their seats.

Ann O’Neill, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Degree of sense in one university

IT is high time that the Scottish Government took on the vested interests of the educational establishment by creating a University of Scotland in order to rationalise the mishmash of universities and former polytechnics masquerading as such.

The ongoing saving in the emoluments of principals alone would more than pay for any re-organisation costs and the resulting ability to keep fees down could encourage more students from England to seek the advantages of a traditional four-year Scottish education, thereby increasing the cultural diversity of our fair land.

Such a move would be as logical as the proposed national police and fire services.

John Eoin Douglas, Spey Terrace, Edinburgh