Letters: Let’s restore Portobello beach to its former glory

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The saga of the new Portobello High School now over, I would just like to ask the people who are all opposed to development in Porty why they don’t use their energy and fighting skills to restore and revive the beach.

So much has been lost over the years – the fairs, amusements, the pier, the open air pool, packed-out beaches. Obviously most of the decline was caused by package holidays abroad and visitor numbers have declined, but I think residents need to see what they can bring back to the area rather than opposing the new.

With so much lottery funding available to communities and support from councillors, I’m sure with thought, determination and energy that many things can happen.

I’m surprised nobody has been interested in setting up a scheme to try to rebuild the Victorian pier, create a traditional-styled funfair and bring back business to the area, like a sort of living museum.

I can’t understand why the people in Porty fight to preserve parks and oppose shopping centres when nobody is fighting for the town’s biggest asset, the beach. It should be back on the map as a tourist attraction with actual real attractions – how it used to be in the 1800s.

Scott Glanville, Edinburgh

Credit T in the Park for legal high ban

Banning legal highs at T in the Park is great news. The dangers of these products should not be underestimated. It is difficult for clinicians to treat cases of unknown intoxication caused by these products as most are synthetic chemicals that are not easily identifiable with routine body fluid testing.

There is no known antidote and there is no evidence base in terms of the type and severity of symptoms. However, it is clear that these products pose a number of different risks.

We need to inform young people of the dangers that these products pose as it is often assumed that because the products are freely available and marketed as a ‘legal high’ that they are, therefore, relatively safe.

We would advise people to attend hospital as soon as possible if they experience any illness associated with these chemicals.

In addition to the physical health risks associated with taking these chemicals, we are also now starting to see patients with increased mental illness caused by ‘legal highs’.

Dr Richard Stevenson, Specialty Doctor in Emergency Medicine, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Airport train could have saved a fortune

So Glasgow is going to get an express train service to its airport. This is similar to many other major cities world-wide such as London, Sydney, Seoul, Hong Kong, Shanghai. The estimated cost is around £150 million.

But what did Edinburgh get? A tram which cost three quarters of a billion, which has increased congestion in the already crowded streets, and which is anecdotally declared to be slower than the airport bus. Is this a staggering fiasco or isn’t it?

Evan Simpson, Western Harbour View, Newhaven

Stick together to fight social inequality

I notice that the ‘Yes’ campaign is proclaiming that the UK is the fourth most unequal country in the developed world and this is a reason to vote ‘Yes’.

The statistic may not stand up to scrutiny but my point is that Scottish independence will not address whatever inequality does exists in cities and rural areas across the UK.

We in Scotland should care just as much about the predicament of those in places like Liverpool or Newcastle as we do about those in Glasgow or Dundee, especially since many will have friends and family in such places down south. I thought Scots were altruistic, not concerned only with themselves. Where’s the solidarity?

We must not turn our backs on those elsewhere in the UK who share our problems. Inequality is just one issue that needs to be tackled universally using all the resources available across these islands.

For me the separatists’ apparent lack of concern for others is a key reason for rejecting their inward looking agenda and working together in a united Britain to make things better for all who live here.

Barry Turner, Carberry Close, Musselburgh

Games can match draw of World Cup

Despite the negativities associated with modern football there can be no denying the continued global popularity of the game.

The colour and passion of the fans at the World Cup is a reminder that there is nothing quite like sport when it comes to uniting the nations of the world in normally friendly and frenzied circumstances.

Scotland may have missed out on this international festival of foootball, but as some consolation that same colour and passion should be on display at the forthcoming Commonwealth Games.

Angus McGregor, Edinburgh

George Osborne’s plans don’t add up

How can you place any trust in the ability of a Chancellor to cope with a national debt of £1.6 trillion if he doesn’t know his seven times table?

Joseph G Miller, Gardeners Street, Dunfermline