Your report on councillors ‘rubber-stamping’ a decision to lease the Engine Shed to a distillery does a disservice to the debate at Finance Committee last week (‘Plans to see malt whisky distilled in Capital again’, News, August 25).
The Engine Shed is a much-loved landmark in the south of the city. It has hosted social enterprises providing high quality food and training to people with learning difficulties as well as meeting space. Its closure within the last year was much lamented.
There were two choices before councillors. One was to lease the building to a partnership involving the NHS trauma project, the Rivers Centre, plus local social enterprises Breadshare and Edinburgh Larder. There was continuity of use in the building so no planning risk; there was a continuing social ethos of the Engine Shed and the proposal was backed by a host of other charities and the local community.
In the other corner were plans for a boutique distillery. Those plans were attractively presented but put forward by a new company with no track record of delivery, no community dialogue and with the risk that planning consent for change in use was still to be secured.
There was little to choose between the bids in rents offered or in the employment benefits.
If the distillery goes ahead, I wish it well. But I am baffled by the decision. It is as if the council was presented with a compelling vision for the Engine Shed but decided instead to say “Ach, we’ll have a dram”.
Gavin Corbett, Green councillor for Fountainbridge / Craiglockhart
We don’t want tartan and shortbread TV
I AM not sure what David Plenderleith Philips was getting at in his letter of August 27 (Festival content lacks much Scottish input).
If there was a demand for more ‘Scottish’ shows in the Edinburgh Festival, the demand would ensure these programmes would appear.
It is, however, an international festival, so lots of shows won’t be about Scotland.
We also have Nicola Sturgeon wanting more ‘Scottish’ shows on the BBC. Hasn’t she heard of BBC Alba?
I don’t think many people watch this ‘Scottish’ channel, except when the football is on. Mind you, nobody knows what the commentators are talking about!
I think most people in Scotland would rather we stick with much of what we get from the BBC, as we don’t want to return to the days of The White Heather Club and Take The High Road.
We don’t want tartan and shortbread TV, despite what the producers showed at the opening ceremony at the Commonwealth Games - it still brings me out in a cold sweat!
Please don’t forget that there are more people in Scotland that speak Polish than Gaelic.
Alun Thomas, Sinclair Close, Edinburgh
Nurses forced into cleaners role at ERI
On a recent stay in the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary for an operation I received excellent treatment from the medical and nursing staff and could not have been better treated.
There was one incident, however, that left me shocked and seething with rage.
A patient had left a ward toilet bowl and seat in a disgusting state and it quite clearly needed cleaning before it would be fit for purpose again.
I drew the attention of one of the nursing staff, who agreed that it most certainly could not be used until it was cleaned and said she would phone the facilities department and get someone up.
About 20 minutes later I saw this same nurse entering the toilet with cleaning materials in hand.
On asking her why she replied, “The cleaning staff are not allowed to clean below the level of the seat and we, the nursing staff, would have to clean it.”
This beggars belief and therefore, the policy would appear to be - CLEANING STAFF CANNOT CLEAN in this most important area of hygiene.
Has the world gone mad? Does this mean that toilets up and down the land are not being cleaned - of course not. And if this is just the policy of whatever firm has the contract at ERI, I would like the rationale to be explained for this ridiculous scenario.
I am 72 years old and did not think I would ever have to write a letter of this sort.
Nurses nurse and cleaners clean in my book and I think the whole world would agree
Ian Suggitt, Fraser Avenue, Edinburgh
Downsized shelters not up to the task
The longer I live in Edinburgh, the more I despair of the council. Replacing bus shelters that don’t need replacing is a prime example.
They’ve taken away the one at the end of Maxwell Street and the one on Lothian Road (south side) and neither have as yet been replaced.
But the worst example so far is the one outside the Usher Hall. It is smaller than the original, has a solid end panel and is much further way from the Tracker than before.
This shelter is supposed to serve audiences from not only the Usher Hall but also the Lyceum and Traverse Theatres. Now there is hardly any room inside and those having to queue outside cannot see the bus coming because of the solid end panel.
What a farce! As usual nothing seems to have been thought through. Bring back ‘Get it sorted’!
Mrs Sylvia Wilson, Maxwell Street, Edinburgh