Congratulations to all involved in securing the National Performance Centre for Sport to be sited in Edinburgh, at Riccarton. It is also welcome news that there will be scope for community involvement and access to the facilities.
However, I am concerned that the attention given to the higher profile performance sports in Scotland is to the detriment of less visible and lower profile sports such as bowling.
The decision by Edinburgh Leisure to close the indoor bowling facilities at Portobello will be felt by the bowling community now, as the autumn approaches and the outdoor bowling greens are no longer available.
Serious attention needs to be given to supporting this sport, which can be enjoyed by all ages, and at no great cost. Resources could be put into encouraging others to take up the sport, rather than simply watching numbers decline. During the recent City of Edinburgh Festival of Sport, no local authority bowling greens were advertised, and only one open day took place at a bowling club.
Let’s see some resources, through the Active Schools programme, through linking up with the private bowling clubs, and other initiatives, to promote this sport. Bowling hopefully will not be completely overshadowed by the promotion of the sports associated with the new National Performance Centre.
Ann Henderson, Gilmour Road, Edinburgh (member, Craigmillar Park Bowling Club)
Meter move is latest bid to drive cars out
The latest proposal from Councillor Lesley Hinds to abolish cash payments (News, August 13) is nothing more than an ongoing attempt to drive cars out of the city centre.
The city council, since the time of David Begg, has pursued an anti car agenda and this is just another step along that route.
They fail to recognise that cars are an essential part of life and if this is implemented it will just contribute to further job losses as businesses in the centre move elsewhere.
Stewart Geddes, Silverknowes, Edinburgh
Indoctrination in our schools
The only thing standing between the infiltration of our schools by proselytising, religious fundamentalists is the staunch defence of a headteacher strong enough to raise the drawbridge as these groups approach the school gates, brandishing their religious observance (RO) invitations from the Scottish government.
As long as RO remains, every child enrolled in Scottish state education will be at risk of religious indoctrination and every parent will be held at the mercy of the personal beliefs of the headteacher.
This situation is not compatible with what citizens in a modern democracy should be able to expect.
State education exists to serve us all, fairly and with respect, without delivering favour or disadvantage to any particular group. Consequently it needs to be neutral. Unless RO is removed, we can expect to see the events at Kirktonholme Primary repeated in other schools throughout Scotland. Respect the child – remove RO.
Veronica Wikman, Malleny Avenue, Edinburgh
Ludicrous argument from ‘Yes’ campaign
According to the recently published UN World Happiness Report 2013, Denmark, Norway and Switzerland are the happiest nations in the World. Unsurprisingly, the SNP and the “Yes” campaign have claimed that an independent Scotland would quickly rise to the top of that list because “small independent nations of comparable size to Scotland are the world’s happiest”.
This argument is ludicrous. The results have no relevance to the independence debate. The surveyors used indicators such as GDP per capita and life expectancy; they did not ask participants if they were happy because their country is independent.
To suggest that Scots vote for independence because Danes and Norwegians are happy is as absurd as assuming that geographical surface area or population size accurately indicates a citizen’s happiness.
The “Yes” campaign has conveniently forgotten about Georgia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Albania, Kyrgyzstan, Libya and Turkmenistan – all similar in size or population to what an independent Scotland would be.
The pro-independence camp were also quick to publicise that the UK “languishes” in 22nd place in terms of happiness, yet overlooked that OECD suicide rates which place the UK in 28th position while Switzerland (8th), Norway (17th) and Denmark (21st) all place considerably higher.
Using the UN’s happiness results to push the independence agenda is yet another example of the “Yes” campaign’s willingness to cherry-pick facts and tailor evidence to deceive the public. It smacks of desperation and illustrates that the pro-independence arguments are based on unstable foundations.
Struan Stevenson MEP, the European Parliament
What will Britain cave into next time?
Birmingham Metropolitan College has capitulated to threats from a black students’ campaign group over the ban on students wearing full facial veils.
The niqab ban has been in place for eight years without protest but an anonymous prospective student contacted her local paper, saying she was being discriminated against.
This smacks of a deliberate attempt to see how far we can be pushed.
What will we cave into next?
Sharia law, child brides, female genital mutilation?
Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow