Number on council keeps debate alive in Portobello

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Have your say

It’s a great shame that the City of Edinburgh Council is proposing to cut the membership of Portobello Community Council by around 50 per cent (News, April 20).

I have been either a community councillor or a city councillor representing Portobello for well over 20 years now. Portobello Community Council has always been one of the best attended and most active of community councils in the city.

That’s primarily because of the nature of the community – and the many groups and individuals who contribute to it. That the community council has been able to reflect that level of activism – even during recent times of differences of opinion on the siting of a new high school – has been a strength, not a weakness. Your editorial rightly states that “the more people that get involved ... the broader the debate” and that “that mixture of voices being heard has to be good for any local community”.

I do not want Portobello Community Council to be “captured” by any sectional interest within the community – which is the danger inherent in the City Council’s proposals.

So, city councillors, leave our numbers alone, please – but do emphasise that, first and foremost, the community council is not a body there to advance any particular cause but rather the greater good of the community.

Lawrence Marshall, King’s Road, Portobello, Edinburgh

Rapeseed oil is by far the healthiest option

With regards to your story, Our healthy rapeseed oil by John-Paul Holden (News, April 20). Staff at Edinburgh Community Food are delighted to hear about the locally produced rapeseed oil by Louise, pictured, and Hugh Elder from Stevenson Mains farm.

As food and health development workers we have long been recommending that people use rapeseed oil. It has a very high smoking point and also a favourable balance of mono and polyunsaturated fats (the “good ones”) to saturated fat (the “bad one”). As a supporter of locally grown fruit and veg we look forward to seeing this local source of Omega 3 fats and anti-oxidants become widely available.

Chris Mantle, Food and Health Development Worker at Edinburgh Community Food, 22 Tennant Street, Edinburgh

Benefits change hid number out of work

WORK and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith must be in turmoil as the petition calling for him to live up to his broadcast boast was ironically buried by the news of a long-term ill woman passing away.

He surely must have been frustrated he didn’t manage to completely hide her massive mistake that his entire project was geared to do.

The Disabled Living Allowance along with a host of other benefits was created under Margaret Thatcher for one purpose only – to remove the masses away from unemployment benefit figures which were read out every evening on the Six o’Clock News like the world’s worst cricket score.

Roy Isserlis, Ormiston, East Lothian

Liability laws need serious consideration

I am still reeling in shock at the proposal for strict liability in favour of cyclists.

As a black cab driver in Edinburgh I see the most unbelievable risks that some cyclists take, not just to themselves but to other road users and pedestrians – ie cycling through red lights, cycling through pedestrian crossings when the green man is alight, cycling on the pavement, cycling on one way streets – the wrong way, cycling through road works when the road is closed and would you believe some don’t even have lights on their bikes.

I really feel that as road users, cyclist should be made to at least read the Highway Code – and what about insurance? Just in case they are the cause of an accident. At present if a cyclist is involved in an accident they are able to just cycle away and there is no way of ever identifying them.

I hope the Scottish Government takes this matter seriously before making any changes to the law, or this could open the flood gates by cyclists making false liability claims against any motorist they take a dislike to.

Name & address supplied

Dog attack on lambs is a deeply sad loss

I was much saddened on reading how nine lambs had been killed and six left seriously injured after being attacked by a dog (News, April 19).

As the owner of a Dalmation type dog is now being hunted by police after the horrific attack, which occurred at the Pyramids Business Park in Bathgate West Lothian, I truly hope the vile dog owner will be caught.

My heart bleeds for the farmer who owns the lambs. No doubt he must be deeply distraught concerning how those poor lambs died, which was a deeply sad loss.

June Flemming, Hercus Loan, Musselburgh

Thanks to those who helped when I fell

On Wednesday April 17 I was walking towards the pedestrian crossing opposite M&S on Princes Street, heading for the bus stop. Yes, it was windy, but unexpectedly a “gale force” hit me so hard that I landed helplessly on the ground. I could not move – I was terrified.

Two anxious young men and two lovely ladies helped me up, with concern and compassion. Through the courtesy of the Evening News I would like to thank my unknown Samaritans for their attentions.

Apart from bruises, I will (hopefully) live, to continue to plague the editor with my unnecessary letters.

Sylvia M De Luca, Juniper Green, Edinburgh