Letters: Olympic plans have ring of disrespect for our history

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I fully support the Evening News campaign against the Olympic symbol being erected on the Castle walls.

Edinburgh Castle is a historic building and I would be against any sign being erected on the Castle regardless of who wishes to place it.

I am sure if things were the other way round and I stuck a sign on a historic or listed building then no doubt the authorities would want to charge me with contravening planning or conservation laws.

I am not anti-English and I am not anti-Olympic sign, however, if it must be displayed in Edinburgh then why not place it outside a venue with a sporting connection? Perhaps Easter Road, Tynecastle, Meadowbank or the Commonwealth Pool would be more appropriate?

Another option might be something visible from the air which can be seen by planes approaching and leaving Edinburgh Airport.

As the Evening News had an article “Sky’s the limit as giant airport ad plans take off” (November 17) an Olympic ad might be a good trial for this idea.

Alastair Macintyre, Webster Place, Rosyth

We’ve ad enough of commercialism

We must definitely oppose the erection of the Olympic rings on the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle.

This is a historic monument and sacred to us folks of Edinburgh and the whole of Scotland. This is not and never should be used as an advertising area, because if this goes ahead there is no reason to say no to other requests.

The Olympic ideal is good but unfortunately tarnished with commercial interests. Saying no makes a very firm statement and representatives must be backed up totally be our elected members. Ignore our feelings at your peril.

Ian Hume, West Barns, Dunbar

Driven away by parking charges

Is it any wonder that retailers in Edinburgh’s city centre are losing business to other shopping areas when a short trip to John Lewis – 37 minutes to be precise – cost me a whopping £4.90 in parking charges?

I queried the charge and the parking attendant advised that I was welcome to stay for the remaining 83 minutes to make full use of the minimum two-hour charge – how generous!

It’s my opinion that the city centre shopping demise doesn’t actually lie with the tram works as so many critics would have us believe. The blame lies with NCP, which is literally driving business away from the town centre with its extortionate parking charges.

There are not many shops in the city centre which don’t also have branches at other shopping outlets in and around Edinburgh, with free or reasonably priced parking. Sadly therefore, it’s the shops who don’t have other local branches who are losing out on potential customers.

Muriel Stewart, West Lothian

Helping to fuel a fairer deal

I WRITE in relation to a Saga campaign urging well-off people aged 60 and over to hand back their Winter Fuel Payment of between £200 and £300.

I think this campaign must be applauded. The Winter Fuel Payment is a universal credit, everyone over the age of 60 is entitled to it whether or not they are still in work, millionaires or indeed people who live abroad during the winter months.

The payment was slashed this year by between £50 and £100 – this will undoubtedly hit the most vulnerable elderly hard. If those who did not need the support did not receive it, then there would potentially be millions of pounds available to be redistributed to help those most in need.

There is a concern that should the payment be means-tested then it would discourage those who need it from accessing the funding. That’s why I think this innovative campaign works.

If people could be given the option to “opt out” or hand back, the Government could save its strained public purse a vast sum. Saga has said 100,000 payments are paid to households with an income above £100,000.

With an ever-increasing elderly population and strain on the public purse, now is not the time for talking shops. It is the time for solutions.

Lianne Lodge, associate, Pagan Osborne, and member of Solicitors for the Elderly, Queen Street, Edinburgh