LETTERS: Time to introduce ‘drunk tanks’and charge for use

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The Scottish BBC News reported that in Scotland 50 per cent of ambulance call outs at the weekend and a third during the week are for drink-related reasons.

Another report revealed that two-thirds of ambulance staff have been physically assaulted by drunks.

Eighteen months ago the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said that drunks should not be treated in Scotland’s accident and emergency departments because getting intoxicated ‘is no accident’.

The RCN suggested that ‘drunk tanks’ were needed since drunks were diverting A&E medical staff from more urgent cases.

Nothing happened.

Eight months ago politicians were calling for the introduction of alcohol ‘recovery centres’ to divert drunks away from A&E, since an ambulance was being called out to deal with a drunk every 21 minutes.

Nothing happened.

A glaring example of why medical staff are under extreme pressure and A&E targets are not being met.

Surely after 18 months the Scottish Government must act and set up these ‘drunk tanks’ and ensure that ‘residents’ are charged £200 for their overnight stay.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

SNP acted properly on Bridge repairs

Donald Lewis gives his usual version of edited ‘facts’ in his letter of December 16 (‘SNP failed to act on bridge crack warnings’). If he has indeed spent his working life in construction, he should be aware that giving only partial ‘facts’ is misleading.

The 2010 report he mentions was made by FETA (Forth Estuary Transport Authority) who had responsibility for the bridge and in fact the previous year postponed replacement of a whole section to avoid major disruption and decided to prioritise urgent repairs to corroded suspension cables.

The Forth bridgemaster, Barry Colford, stated in 2012 “Short term repairs have allowed FETA to prolong the joints’ lives until the opening of the adjacent Forth replacement crossing allows traffic to be diverted and a major repair undertaken.”

It was not until June this year that the Scottish Government took over direct responsibility for the bridge. A detailed inspection of the bridge was then undertaken by bridge operator Amey and no defects were found.

As we all know, the Scottish Government took immediate action as soon as the routine inspection earlier this month uncovered a fault.

We should also bear in mind that successive Labour and Conservative administrations continued to oppose the building of a second bridge despite warnings from FETA about increased traffic load.

We should all heave a collective sigh of relief that the SNP has been more proactive in its thoughts and actions.

David McBain, Baberton Mains Row, Edinburgh

Stating the obvious is a waste of our money

I am amazed to see the new bits of street furniture in the shape of tourist information sign posts that have appeared at various locations in the Gilmerton area.

These sign posts are indicating the direction and distances of places like Holyrood park and Craigmillar Castle. This is a useless piece of information when you consider that you can see these places of interest from almost anywhere in the Gilmerton area.

Where did the money come from to erect these stupid unnecessary sign posts? I thought that the council was supposed to be short of money.

Alan Chambers, Gilmerton, Edinburgh

Animal cruelty has no place at Christmas

People moved by Vodafone’s Terry the Turkey advert should choose a cruelty-free Christmas dinner.

Although Terry’s life was spared, millions of turkeys every year suffer miserable lives and terrifying slaughterhouse deaths. Turkeys are often reared in cramped, filthy sheds and many have the tip of their beaks sliced off to stop the stressed birds pecking one another.

Yet all these turkeys are individuals, just like Terry, who are capable of feeling pain, suffering and stress.

Fortunately, it has never been easier to have a delicious, cruelty-free Christmas dinner. Animal Aid is sending out free copies of its Compassionate Christmas guide, which contains recipes for an animal-free feast. Copies of the guide can be ordered by emailing info@animalaid.org.uk or phoning 01732-364 546.

Isobel Hutchinson, Animal Aid, Tonbridge, Kent

Thanks for attending Thomas’ final farewell

On behalf of the RFA Association I offer sincere thanks to all who turned out to give Thomas Musgrove such a fitting send off at his funeral.

Many I am sure will not have known him, but nevertheless gave of their time to see a veteran on his penultimate journey.

Very many thanks indeed to the mourners who attended, the care home where he spent his final days, the social workers who brought this sad story to the attention of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Association and, of course, the Edinburgh Evening News, who gave us the publicity which made it happen.

Thomas’ final journey will be out to sea where his ashes will be committed to the oceans. Again, a very special thank you to celebrant Joni Wilson and all who attended and made this possible.

Captain Pat Thompson, Deputy Chairman, RFA Association