Letters: Hinds is taking the wrong route over Lothian Buses

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Councillor Lesley Hinds’ suggestion that Councillor Rust merely seeks publicity when he questions the role of the Labour-SNP administration in the Lothian Buses management dispute is astonishingly hypocritical, given the frequency of her tedious platitudes, which readers are obliged to suffer on so many other issues.

My repeated enquiries of the transport convener, directly and through this page (December 9), that she explain her refusal to accept the board of Lothian Buses’ recommendation to sack Ian Craig and the extent to which she intends to meddle in the company in future, remain unanswered.

I put the same points to the council’s chief executive six weeks ago and also asked “What steps are open to members of the public to force a proper reply from elected members in instances where they simply refuse to provide one?”

Again, a reply is awaited. And, as the role of his administration in this latest transport debacle demands the openness and clarity which council leader Andrew Burns promised us, he allows reports of gagging agreements being signed by senior Lothian Buses directors to pass with neither comment nor condemnation.

It is incredible that, while Lothian Buses looks set to lose four irreproachable senior board members, widely regarded as the best in the bus industry, as a direct result of Councillor Hinds’ inappropriate intervention in the management of the bus company, she herself should expect to dodge accountability and retain the transport brief.

Yet, the SNP group appear unwilling to stand up for Lothian Buses lest, presumably, it upsets their coalition partners, and the Lib Dem and Green councillors seem relaxed while the precedent is being set for our ‘arm’s-length’ bus company to be vulnerable to political manipulation in future.

So I applaud Councillor Rust for attempting to hold the administration accountable, and for giving voice to public concern that Lothian Buses must operate free from the whims and intrusions of passing transport conveners in order to keep the city moving cheaply and efficiently every single day.

Mrs A Bourne, Groathill Road South, Edinburgh

The lights are going out on Princes Street

Fourteen months ago I wrote regarding the number of street lights out on the north side of Princes Street, some of which had been out for years. Sadly nothing has been done and things are now far worse.

From the bank at the west end of the street along to South St Andrew Street there is now only one light working.

This is totally unacceptable and disgraceful and someone in the street lighting department needs to be called to account.

B King, St Leonard’s Street, Edinburgh

Council’s property arm renege on promises

Four months ago officials of Edinburgh City Council’s property development company, EDI/PARC, gave assurances that three beautiful mature trees at the site of the former Niddrie Mill Primary school would be protected when the area was demolished for development.

In the early hours of Monday morning, February 2, contractors cut down the three trees destroying a lovely picturesque corner of Niddrie.

This deliberate vandalism is another example of PARC’s ten-year rampage of destruction of our community assets – facilities for vulnerable and disabled people, local children’s play parks and green open spaces – all sacrificed for private house building under the pretence of ‘community regeneration’.

Even our beloved and well used Hunter’s Hall public park is under threat.

Craigmillar was once a renowned thriving community but has become a dormitory district, a concrete desert of high density and ugly, bleak and bland blocks of flats.

When they first arrived in Craigmillar PARC’s pretty PowerPoint presentations, which were better than a Walt Disney cartoon, promised us a Shangri-La. In reality thousands of local families have been moved out of the area in a policy of community cleansing and gentrification.

PARC’s promises are like the daffodils they planted along Niddrie Mains Road, bright and colourful at first but they soon wither away to nothing.

Paul Nolan, Chairman, Craigmillar First, Niddrie Marischal Crescent, Edinburgh

Thanks for our caring NHS at Royal Infirmary

Two weeks ago my sister was admitted to the Royal Infirmary after a cardiac arrest, where she died the next day. I cannot praise too highly the care and attention she received from all the staff who treated her. The paramedics, the porters, the nurses, the doctors, the ancillary staff showed so much humanity, not just to my sister but to me and her friends and family.

A special thanks to ward 208. God bless and preserve the NHS from people who want to make a profit out of treating the sick.

Leo Roche, Saughton, Edinburgh

Is SNP tree policy missing green point?

Climate Change Minister Stewart Stevenson MSP was quoted recently as saying “a greater number of trees would absorb CO2 directly”. Earlier in the same article it was stated that 30 million trees need to be planted over the next year to hit the SNPs target to cut carbon emissions.

Is it not true that trees emit as well as absorb CO2, so the effect of one is cancelled out by the other?

William W Scott, St Baldred’s Road, North Berwick