What is council doing to lower the risk of fires?

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Recently, the press and television have been full of instances where grass fires have laid waste to 
 some beautiful parts of our countryside.

Craiglockhart and Colinton Dells are one of our local areas of natural beauty and much appreciated by the residents of this area.

It would be a catastrophe if this woodland were to go up in smoke because of a carelessly discarded cigarette or similar man-made hazard.

What, therefore, is the council doing to prevent such a disaster – it is allowing campers to camp for as long as a week, lighting fires near trees and leaving them burning when they have left. Sometimes the tents themselves are left with other equipment and all sorts of rubbish. A whole duvet was recently found floating in the water of Leith next to one campsite.

There are no signs of this area being patrolled by council staff and only yesterday, I found a fire still burning, with a stolen wheelbarrow from Redhall Garden Centre lying on top of it.

When camping for a week in this area, it becomes painfully obvious, even to those yobbos, that there are no toilets in the Dell area and the bushes are now festooned with used lengths of toilet roll.

I write this in the hope that someone on the council will take heed of the problem. We have already made our opinions known to council officials with very little response.

Arthur Nicholson, Craiglockhart

Scots show how to run a civilised country

Mike Sanders (Letters, July 19) should have waited a moment before launching into a partisan personal attack on Scotland’s First Minister over Muirfield’s archaic rules preventing women from becoming members.

Alex Salmond’s intervention which was followed by leading politicians from the three main parties at Westminster has forced the R&A to reconsider their criteria for holding Open golf tournaments and will hopefully follow the American example.

Once again as with the smoking ban, council tax freeze and free personal care, Scotland shows Westminster how to run a civilised nation.

And with the powers of independence we can do so much more.

Fraser Grant, Warrender Park Road, Edinburgh

Give top job all the energy it deserves

I HAVE serious concerns that Sue Bruce, the chief executive of Edinburgh City Council, appears to have taken on a second job (Council chief’s £32,000 Brucie bonus, News, July 18). If I thought that Edinburgh was the best-run local authority in Scotland I would not have any issue with Sue Bruce or other senior managers taking on a second job. However, I do not believe that Edinburgh is a well-run city.

In the last few years the city council has been rocked by crisis after crisis. There has been the fiasco with the trams project and the scheme is far from popular with many local residents and traders. There was the housing repairs scandal and more recently the baby ashes scandal.

Then there was a protest against the leader of UKIP whilst he and his party were on business in Edinburgh. I know this is not under the control of the council, but it gives out the impression Edinburgh is an unwelcoming city to be avoided at all costs.

According to the Evening News of July 19, it would appear that there are issues with bins overflowing in Princes Street. It might be partly due to the recent hot weather and increase in people who are out and about that this situation has arisen however one would think that a well run city would have contingency plans to deal with these type of situations when they occur.

Many of the things above certainly give me the impression that Edinburgh is a poorly run city. I think Sue Bruce, pictured above, is completely wrong to take on a second job and should fully concentrate her efforts on running the city of Edinburgh to the highest standards possible.

If Sue Bruce is unable or unwilling to do this then I believe she should give up the chief executive post and allow someone else to come in and give Edinburgh the time and attention it deserves.

Alastair Macintyre, Webster Place, Rosyth

Fossil fuel addiction is ruining the planet

Most people in the UK invest money in the country’s biggest banks and pension funds, but we have very little control over what they do with our money. Every year, these companies pour billions of pounds into coal, oil and gas extraction across the planet, pushing us ever closer to runaway climate change.

Dirty fossil fuel projects are often situated in poor countries, but instead of helping more people get access to electricity, all too often they make local people’s lives much worse by robbing them of their homes or polluting their land and water.

We need to cure our finance sector of its fossil fuel addiction, and as a first step banks and pension funds should be made to report the carbon emissions from the dirty energy projects they finance. Only when their impact on the climate is made public will we have a chance of forcing them to reduce it.

Neil Towsey, Easter Road, Edinburgh

Thanks for helping to support animal work

Animal Aid would like to thank the people of Edinburgh for their generosity in raising £82.50 at a street collection on Princes Street on July 13. The money will help fund our important work on all aspects of animal cruelty.

P Koh, Craigentinny Avenue, Edinburgh