Letters: Action is needed to ease city away from rocky road

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WITH reference to the condition of some of the city’s main roads, it must be only a couple of years ago that contractors lifted and relaid the cobbles on the Royal Mile at Jeffrey Street-St Mary’s Street crossroads.

The middle of the crossing is again deteriorating and sinking fast.

I walk this area daily and see how quickly the road surface is crumbling. The cobblestones towards the crossing at the Tron are also sinking.

This stretch sees a lot of traffic daily. Surely we can have a more permanent repair.

George Cornwall, Hyndfords Close, High Street, Edinburgh

Air Force policy is hard to defend

WESTMINSTER’S office warriors have reduced the RAF to the level where its ability to defend us, in these islands, must surely now be in doubt.

At the same time Vlad “I’ll be back” Putin, President of all the Russias, has announced that Russia needs a new strategic bomber, and will develop one despite the cost. It is hard not to conclude that one of these governments has made a mistake.

David Fiddimore, Nether Craigwell, Calton Road, Edinburgh

Support medics if you value them

DOCTORS, surgeons and the rest of the front-line medical staff are definitely within their rights to protect their salaries, pensions and other conditions of their employment within the NHS.

The same applies to the police and the armed forces.

We all have a very high regard for those who work in the NHS, because of the value of the work they do.

So if we put such a high value on the essential work they do, we should support any of the NHS staff and their legitimate grievances.

There is no doubt that health and welfare need to be protected.

Chas Dennis, Niddrie Marischal Road, Edinburgh

How clean water changes lives

WE only tend to think about water when it’s in the news. Unseasonal amounts of rain in Scotland, the threat of hosepipe bans in southern England, floods in Wales. Most of the time we forget how lucky we are to have clean, safe water at the turn of a tap.

In the world’s poorest communities, clean water is life-changing. Having clean water to drink and a safe place to go to the toilet means better health, which in turn means children don’t miss school and adults can go out and earn a living.

As local supporters of international charity WaterAid, we know that water and sanitation transform lives and we believe that everyone should have these basic necessities, but we also know that sadly this is far from reality.

A shocking 783 million people around the world still have no choice but to drink dirty water which, along with poor sanitation, causes diseases that kill thousands of children every single day.

This week WaterAid launches the Big Dig Appeal, to raise funds to bring clean, safe water and sanitation to more than 130000 people in rural Malawi.

Please consider supporting the Big Dig Appeal – the great news is that all money donated by the public will be matched pound for pound by the UK government from the aid budget, so your donations can reach twice as many people.

You can find out more about the Big Dig by reading the Big Dig Blog, where you can hear from people such as Janet, a 38-year-old mother who lost one of her seven children to cholera.

To make a donation, or follow WaterAid’s progress in Malawi, go to www.thebigdig.org.

Bill Redmond, Edinburgh WaterAid Group, Edinburgh

Wee slug of beer out in the garden

THERE has been a lot of talk of alcohol pricing to prevent youths drinking too much and causing mayhem.

I bought eight cans of cheap beer from a supermarket for only £1.80.

I would imagine that eight cans would be more than enough for the average youth.

Well, it was more than enough for the slugs and snails in my garden, but at least they died happy.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow