‘Give what you can to help the Royal Blind’

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The exploits of Libby and James Clegg were among the highlights of London 2012 for many city sports fans.

Their medal-winning success on the track and in the pool respectively were an inspiration to thousands of young people.

They are the first to credit the Royal Blind in Edinburgh for helping set them on the road to success. The school helped to give them the confidence and the opportunities to succeed in elite level sport.

Giving young people the chance to make the most of their abilities is what the Royal Blind School is all about. It does that every day for all its pupils, including many with complex disabilities and support needs.

Sometimes helping children forge a spirit of independence is about small things. If you donate to our Christmas appeal, one thing that your money will be spent on is special high-sided plates.

These might not seem like a big deal but they can make a huge difference to pupils.

With one, a visually-impaired youngster can walk on their own through the school canteen carrying their meal, something simple they would not be able to do otherwise.

So, if you can, please help even more young people take their first steps towards independence. Details of how to donate are on page 13.

Parking mad

Edinburgh City Council faces a potentially costly challenge to its new policy – begun in February 2012 – of ordering traffic wardens to ticket double-parked vehicles. One city driver has now successfully challenged his fine on the grounds that he was not in a parking space, and so could not have contravened any rules. This could open the floodgates for hundreds of other drivers to come forward and overturn their fines, while also halting the future implementation of the policy.

While it is extremely important that the council does not exceed its legal powers, it is also clear that double parking is not only an extreme nuisance to other motorists, cyclists and pedestrians, but also a hazard which can lead to accidents.

It is hard, therefore, to have any sympathy for those who would seek to exploit a loophole in the law.

The police can already issue spot fines of £30, but why should wardens be able to ticket cars which are correctly parked in a bay but perhaps just a few minutes over their paid-for ticket time, but be forced to ignore double-parked vehicles nearby? Outwith the most extreme circumstances, double parking cannot be justified.