Letters: Don’t let Leith get left behind on tram route

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Regarding the possibility of tram extensions (‘To Leith and beyond’, News, November 1), there will not be sunshine on Leith until there are tram lines there.

The historic port, particularly Ocean Terminal, is losing out to the retail centres of Hermiston Gait and the Gyle Centre in the west of the city, both of which have tram stops and have seen sales increase since the the start of the tram service.

It is ludicrous that millions of pounds have been spent diverting and renewing the utilities on Leith Walk, the rail lines and tram vehicles paid for, that the extension to Leith (Newhaven) should not be first before the South Line and the Granton Spur, both of which are good candidates for future development if and when funds become available.

But if Leith is to prosper, it needs a tram connection to the centre of Edinburgh.

George Ritchie, North Gyle Terrace, Edinburgh

Each nation must get a vote in EU referendum

The notion that each of the four member states would have to vote in favour of UK withdrawal from the EU in order for this to be implemented has strong international comparisons (News, October 30).

In Australia, for example, constitutional changes must be passed at a referendum in a majority of states (four of the six), and by a majority of voters nationally.

In Switzerland, the passing of a constitutional amendment by initiative requires a double majority. Not only must a majority of people vote for the amendment but a majority of cantons must also give their consent. This is to prevent a larger canton from foisting amendments onto the smaller ones and vice versa.

We were told consistently during the referendum campaign that the UK is a “family of nations” of equal status.

Such a “double majority” procedure would give proper protections against any of the nations of the UK being removed from the EU against their 

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh

Baby memorial exists at Rosebank Cemetery

Amidst all the calls for a suitable memorial to the lost babies, it appears to have been overlooked that Edinburgh City Council has already erected one at Rosebank Cemetery in 1989.

It’s in a quiet corner, affording some privacy to visitors. Perhaps its discreet character has resulted in its being almost forgotten.

It comprises an abstracted sculpture of a mother and child, with the simple but eloquent inscription, ‘For all our babies: briefly known, forever loved’.

Caroline Gerard, Dean Village, Edinburgh

Siblings better together in adoption process

At Barnardo’s Scotland we believe that every child has the right to grow up in a safe, secure and loving home. This especially applies to children taken into care because their p arents are unable or unwilling to look after them.

This week is National Adoption Week (November 3-9) and this year the focus is on finding new parents for groups of brothers and sisters.

According to research carried out by the British Association of Adoption and Fostering, around half of the 6000 children in the UK currently waiting to be adopted, are in sibling groups. I believe, as far as possible, brothers and sisters should be kept together.

As a father of four children myself, I couldn’t begin to imagine a circumstance in which they were wrenched apart, that’s why today we are launching a new appeal to find new parents who are willing to adopt groups of siblings, keeping them together and creating the safe, secure and permanent home-life they so deserve.

We recognise that nowadays families come in all different shapes and sizes. That’s why we are casting our net far and wide in order to get the best match to help turn around these children’s difficult start in life. We welcome enquiries from all, irrespective of age, faith, sexuality, marital status or background.

Becoming a parent can be a daunting prospect for anyone, but at Barnardo’s Scotland we walk side by side with our adopters for as long as they want or need us. We pride ourselves on the quality of preparation, training and on-going support we give adoptive families to help them adjust to a ready-made family.

If you think adoption could be for you, contact us on 08000-277 280 or www.barnardos.org.uk/WhyAdopt.

Martin Crewe, director of Barnardo’s Scotland, Oxgangs Road North, Edinburghg

Principles before power in Labour vote

Isn’t it clever of the Labour Party to enlist the pro-Trident, pro-Iraq war, unreconstructed Blairite Jim Murphy to lead the Scottish party onwards to glorious victory?

Never mind what you believe – tedious talk about left and right, principles and ethics, all that boring stuff. Just unite round the idea of getting a Labour victory, that’s all we have to do. Don’t ask what for, just do it.

This is the Catholic who simply ignores the Scottish Bishops and the Church’s utter condemnation of nuclear weapons, and refused to publically debate Trident with Bruce Kent when he came to Scotland last year.

He runs a horse and cart through Christian ethics with as much aplomb as he devastates any notion of principle or vision.

With such a politician at the helm, who can doubt that a bright future lies ahead for Labour in Scotland?

Brian M Quail, Hyndland Avenue, Glasgow