Letters: Sort out our city’s finances before changing the world

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Why on earth should our councillors discuss “the crisis faced by our current economic system, our communities and our planet” in a motion tabled by Green councillor Maggie Chapman (Call to back Occupy camp, News, November 24)?

This highfalutin nonsense as our city suffers from cuts after depredations that affect the lives of almost all of its citizens.

Little wonder there is a fast-widening disconnection between our elected representatives and their electorate.

Could our councillors not use their time more constructively and more usefully by discussing issues that affect the lives of their constituents – in their constituencies?

While certain people are motivated to protest against global capitalism by camping out in St Andrew Square, local politicians should think local and act local.

Chris Askham, Dalmeny Street, Edinburgh

‘Uncertainty’ no barrier to profits

DANNY Alexander has said the economy could be “dragged down” by the “uncertainty” over the timing of an independence referendum.

Chancellor George Osborne has commented that major firms were reluctant to invest in Scotland because of this.

Ironically, Mr Alexander’s pronouncements were revealed the day after proposals were revealed by Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd to construct the world’s biggest offshore wind farm off Caithness, delivering £4.5 billion of investment and securing hundreds of jobs.

If this is the price of “uncertainty”, goodness knows what we could do with the full powers of a normal nation.

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh

Right move to shelve store

I AM glad to see that planning officials are recommending the refusal of yet another supermarket site in the Chesser area. 

The area is already inundated with supermarkets, with an Asda on the doorstep, Sainsbury at Gorgie and others along Dalry Road and in Colinton.

The addition of Morrisons would simply undermine existing provision, including hard-pressed local shops. 

Gavin Corbett, Briarbank Terrace, Edinburgh

Lead is most cost effective material

IT has been disappointing to read about the alleged abuses of the city’s statutory repairs policy, but any suggestion that part of the solution is to simply replace lead with another material is not cost effective.

I refer particularly to Lorn Macneal’s suggestion (Letters, November 14).

Recent investigation into the lifetime cost of using lead, whether for flashings or roofing, has highlighted that the cost of using alternative products can be much more expensive.

The lifespan of properly installed lead is conservatively estimated at 90 years, by which time most of the proprietary flashing materials sold in the market will have had to have been replaced on as many as three occasions.

Douglas E Weston CBE, chief executive officer, Lead Sheet Association Limited, Tonbridge, Kent