Letters: Tram project’s contribution to pollution is out of line

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It’s bad news that the atmospheric burden of greenhouse gases due to human activities is not decreasing.

It is even more disturbing to consider that a significant contributor to this burden in Scotland must be Edinburgh’s tram project.

Apart from the past years of major excavations, exploratory work under the streets, laying and re-laying of tram lines, manufacture of trams and damage to commercial and social areas in the city, there is the chaos caused by changed traffic routes and the slow-running traffic increasing exhaust fumes.

All of this has contributed to our atmospheric burden and clearly there is more to come.

How is Edinburgh going to offset the massive atmospheric damage that has been done and how many years will it take?

Rosemary Macdonald, Corstorphine Bank Drive, Edinburgh

Independence is crucial for Europe

MUCH has been written on the issue of whether an independent Scotland would remain a member of the European Union or be forced to re-apply for membership. The irony of all this is that we are in a potential situation whereby if Scotland wants to remain a member of the European Union it will have to be independent.

One of the desires of the Conservatives is to repatriate powers from Brussels, which will require a Treaty change and the agreement of the 26 other EU member states, a scenario that is simply not going to happen. Given this situation the Eurosceptic backbench Tories are likely to force a referendum on the UK’s EU membership which will probably result in the UK withdrawing.

The greatest risk to us as a nation wanting to be in the European Union is to remain within the UK.

In the medium to long term the UK could potentially withdraw from the EU, which is why if we want to remain as members independence is crucial.

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh

Gem of a guy deserves vote

I READ the report regarding Councillor Ronnie Cairns (News, November 17).

I am a former constituent of his and am glad that he is one of a select few who shunned the media spotlight, and genuinely represents his constituents. Ronnie is the “go to guy” when you have a problem that needs sorted and the cases and local causes he has helped are too numerous to name but a few here.

When gang warfare resulted in the death of a local youngster a few years back, Ronnie was heavily involved in working with local youth and community groups and community police liaison teams through which peace was restored.

Many other positive changes to the image of Broomhouse, Sighthill and Parkhead have been assisted via his hard work – all away from the glare of publicity.

Ronnie and his wife Helen have been for many years the guiding hand behind the Westenders Drama Group, which supports numerous underprivileged children, gets them off the streets and away from criminality. The concerts and pantomimes they produce bring much-needed community spirit to an otherwise cultural wasteland.

Ronnie has also assisted our local Air Cadet Squadron.

When SNP members do vote soon I hope that they realise that they already have a jewel in the crown at present ... a rough diamond, maybe, but a gem of a guy nonetheless

Billy Walker, Broomhouse Crescent, Edinburgh

Night noise team serious about role

I WRITE regarding the articles in your paper “Boyack makes some noise after nuisance neighbour service cut” (November 14) and “Gripe teams come and feel the noise” (October 10).

In both articles you refer to noise complaints in the city rising for 2010/11 compared to the previous year. There was in fact a slight decrease.

In a Freedom of Information request your paper was given a figure of 12,019 complaints being received by the council for 2010/11. The comparable figure for 2009/10 is 12,104.

The night noise team continues to operate Thursday to Sunday, 17:15 to 04:00 which is when the majority of calls are received and services responding to noise. We take this issue very seriously.

Susan Mooney, Head of Community Safety, Edinburgh City Council