Letters: Venture forth and help save landmark

Canongate venture building.  Picture: Ian Rutherford
Canongate venture building. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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Have your say

Edinburgh City Council has endorsed the city’s UNESCO accredited ‘City of Literature’ status with the inscription of Alexander McCall Smith’s words in the bland stonework of the “Atria” development.

What terrible irony indeed when the council is all set to rubber stamp the demolition of the magnificently placed Canongate Venture building in the Waverley Valley to make way for yet more bland speculative development.

This much loved, structurally sound but tragically neglected 19th century public building has been caught up in an ongoing ‘tug of war’ which the local community have tried to save by recommending its use as a ‘Word Bank’ literary centre to complement the credibility of the City of Literature accolade.

For those with any remaining faith and energy in the face of attrition regarding this significantly controversial development, the council planning portal remains open to those who are able to successfully navigate through the obfuscation to make a public comment at this 11th hour and 59th minute in proceedings.

Simon Byrom, West Bow, Edinburgh

Beware of germs from visitors

It’s all very well providing all patients with single rooms, although the lack of social interaction is of concern. However, extending visiting hours to ten hours per day (Stepping into a bright future at modern facility’, News, February 6) seems unwise. Allowing so much access for visitors undermines infection control. Visitors can bring infections.

Steuart Campbell, Dovecot Loan, Edinburgh

Toilet fees rely on users being flush

On paper it might sound like a good idea to charge the public for the use of lavatories, especially if the facilities are clean and well maintained (News, February 5).

However, when money is tight and on those rare occasions when we get some decent summer weather, an element of society having spent all their money on drink might be tempted to find the nearest bush, creating an unpleasant atmosphere for everyone else.

The council might be quite right in seeking alternative ways of generating revenue but charging for the use of public conveniences may prove to be unpopular.

Angus McGregor, Albion Road, Edinburgh

Clinic on hunt for right candidate

I WOULD like to respond to the article on the Gender Identity Clinic (News, February 5).

We understand that the current waiting time for the NHS Lothian Gender Clinic is unacceptable, and we recognise that the Gender Identity Clinic provides an extremely important service. This is why we decided to increase capacity with one extra clinical session per week.

We plan to use this extra time to reduce the waiting time within the first nine months of the service re-opening, aiming to bring the waiting time for a first appointment down to less than 12 weeks.

It is unfortunate that we have, so far, been unable to appoint a new gender specialist since Dr Myskow retired in October. This is a highly specialised role, and we are working hard to find the right individual with the expertise and specialist skills required to deliver the service.

During this interim period, we have not left patients “on their own” and have made arrangements with the NHS Gender Clinic in Glasgow for patients to receive support from their team. 

This ensures that patients visiting our service continue to have ongoing support while we work to re-open the Lothian Gender Identity Clinic.

Colin Briggs, general manager, Edinburgh Community Health Partnership

Fuel cells answer for electric cars

Instead of trying to provide more charging points for electric cars (News, February 7), a better solution would be for the manufacturers to provide a block of connected fuel cells of a manageable size instead of a single large battery.

These fuel cells could be swapped out by the drivers and replaced with full ones as they are depleted. The infrastructure to support this already exists – petrol stations.

Recharging the depleted fuel cells would be a good way of using electricity produced by wind turbines instead of trying to feed it into the national grid, which is like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

Paul Mitchell, Edzell, Angus