Letters: Council defies its own policy

Residents in Allan Park Crescent, Slateford, make their point. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Residents in Allan Park Crescent, Slateford, make their point. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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HERE is a story from cloud cuckoo land. Imagine you live in a bungalow in a quiet street of bungalows.

Then along comes a rich developer with a cunning plan. He wants to demolish a perfectly good bungalow half way up the street in order to build a road (“Access row residents’ anger over cul-de-sac road threat”, News, May 5).

He knows it will be a busy road and does not care that it would also breach Edinburgh City Council’s local planning policy on loss of housing.

Just imagine owning one of the houses on either side of this road, not to mention a huge increase in traffic up and down the street.

But wait, along comes Councillor Ian Perry and his chums on the planning committee; surely they will uphold their own policy, or at the very least apply common sense and say no way to this mad scheme.

So, reader, who do you think will carry the day?

You may say it’s a no brainer, but keep your eye on Allan Park to see the outcome.

John Smith, Allan Park Drive, Edinburgh

Energy-saving street lights raise crime fear

THE news that new energy-saving street lights are being rolled out by the council in East Lothian is a most concerning issue (News, May 4).

No doubt the LED lights may cause a rise in crime and the safety of members of the public could be put at risk.

Bright lights are needed in every street to ensure the safety of the public, and although the LED lights are energy saving, they give dismal illumination, allowing criminals to work unseen.

The council should reconsider installing brighter street lights for everyone’s safety.

Mrs June Fleming, Hercus Loan, Musselburgh

New certificate rule helps bereaved

SCOTLAND has become the first nation in the UK to scrap fees for cremation forms signed by doctors.

New and improved death certificates came into being across Scotland as the Certification of Death Act passed by the Scottish Government took effect.

One immediate benefit is that bereaved families will no longer have to pay around £170 for the paperwork necessary for a cremation to proceed under the medical referee system, saving around £5.5 million a year annually.

The quality and accuracy of death certificates will be improved, which will create a better understanding of the actual causes of death, allowing NHS resources to be targeted more effectively.

Dealing with the death of a loved one can be a difficult and traumatic experience, so well done to the Scottish Government for implementing the new system.

Jim Hill, Stenhouse Avenue, Edinburgh

Don’t forget PoWs in wartime anniversary

WE are rightly hearing a lot this year about various military exploits and commemorations, but one aspect which is seldom raised is the issue of prisoners of war.

I met a man many years ago captured by Rommel at St Valery in France, who told me, to my astonishment, that he spent the war slaving as a worker in a Polish coal mine.

As someone brought up on The Great Escape and Bridge on the River Kwai, I did not realise that under the Geneva Convention, officers did not work, but the men were forced to. These films were a kind of official propaganda.

When General Fortune gave his surrender of the 51st Highland Division at St Valery in June 1940, or General Percival gave up to the Japanese in February 1942 in Singapore, they knew that they faced a fairly cushy confinement, but non-officers were in for a hellish fate.

It works both ways, of course. Here in East Lothian there were masses of PoWs working on the land, but again, German officers could take it easy.

It seems really unfair that the public are generally unaware of the history.

RJ Chisholm, Clifford Road, North Berwick

Thank the SNP for five more Tory years

IT is clear that Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon must share the responsibility for ensuring another five years of Tory government.

They formed a toxic alliance with the Tories to frighten the English electorate with repeated threats of holding the balance of power in a Labour/SNP coalition.

The Nationalists repeated the lie of Labour as ‘red Tories’ in Scotland to encourage the false premise of a minority Labour government and the policy backfired, ending up with a Tory majority with the Nationalists’ help.

Although the Scottish electorate overwhelmingly rejected independence only eight months ago, Nicola Sturgeon sacrificed her country to Conservative rule on the altar of nationalism.

The consequence is the polarisation of communites in Scotland, and the anti-English backlash has already begun.

For the next five years we will have the Nationalists at Westminster raising questions on a populist agenda through the prism of independence rather than the greater good of Scotland.

The Nationalists will be under scruting as never before. We have neither the tax base nor the resources to support their policies.

Mrs Joan Rodgers, Ferry Road, Edinburgh