Letters: Tackling poverty is best done together, Deidre

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EDINBURGH SNP councillor Deidre Brock’s reason for supporting the ‘Yes’ vote for Scottish independence because it will help resolve the issue of child poverty in the city (‘All the UK has to offer is food banks and poverty’, News, July 7) is somewhat disingenuous.

To help eradicate the problem of poverty you need integrated policies, not segregation. Segregation breeds inequality and is a sympton of poverty, not just for children but many other groups, including pensioners, the homeless and unemployed.

When the Labour Party was in government the first thing on their agenda in 1997 was to tackle the poverty trap and they did it successfully, but were not given the chance to complete the job.

From 1997-2005 poverty dropped substantially from 14-12 million. The door was opened but the present Holyrood and Westminster governments failed to grab the initiative.

The tax credit system introduced by the previous Labour government took many working families out of the poverty trap and was seen as a great success.

If the tax credit was given a positive boost a lot faster, the poverty line would have continued to fall for millions of people.

Chas Dennis, Niddrie Marischal Road, Edinburgh

Holyrood too slow off the mark over cycling

Here in Scotland, the popularity of cycling is increasing as more people discover the great benefits of taking to their bikes.

Despite a pledge to see ten per cent of all trips in Scotland in 2020 taken by bike, the Scottish Government has been slow in making some policy commitments that would help meet this target.

We know that the main factor preventing people from cycling is a view that the roads are simply too dangerous. That is why we believe the Scottish Government should embrace our call for presumed liability for road traffic collisions, whereby a motorist would be presumed liable to compensate a cyclist or pedestrian injured in a collision with a motorised vehicle. The same would hold true in cases where a cyclist collides with a pedestrian.

Alongside other measures like infrastructure and more cycle-specific training, a presumed liability civil law regime would improve Scotland’s road safety and bring Scotland up to the same standard as in most European nations. It would give confidence to more Scots to take to their bikes and demonstrate that the government is serious about transforming Scotland into a cycling nation.

Road Share Campaign for Presumed Liability, Castle Street, Edinburgh

It’s time to bring back the old style Matron

What has gone wrong with our hospitals? I am a 78-year-old male. Last October I had a road accident in which my mobility scooter was hit by a car while crossing the road and ended up in the ERI for a week.

Nine painful weeks later I was still in agony with my leg, my doctor sent me for another X-ray and I was told I had a broken bone in my leg, but that because it had partial knitted together they could not operate to fix it.

Recently I was rushed to the Western in an ambulance, with siren and blue lights flashing with a suspected stroke.

I was parked in the waiting room for three hours before being seen by a nurse who assessed me for a doctor to see the severity of my stroke.

Admittedly, it was only a minor stroke where my speech was slurred and they let me home the next day and told me to take things easy for the next four weeks.

A speech therapist said she would contact me on Monday as she is not allowed to work weekends. Needless to say I didn’t hear anything.

I do not blame the staff at the hospital, as I was told they were grossly under-staffed on the day.

I say, bring back the old style matron, who kept everyone on their toes.

Mr B J Hayward, Carrick Knowe Loan, Edinburgh

Let referendums decide local planning

NOW that the Accies chairman has obtained full planning permission for his superpub-topped shopping mall with a grandstand tacked on to the far side (News, July 7), what will the future hold for Raeburn Place?

If the rugby flourishes, will Inverleith pond end up one day being overshadowed by an additional grandstand?

If the rugby fails, will the historic playing field be turned into a car park to ensure the shops don’t fail?

Anything now seems possible, including the white elephant outcome feared by Save Stockbridge chairman Bruce Thompson.

Controversial planning decisions ought to be made by a local referendum, not by a bunch of councillors who arrogantly choose to ignore well-informed local opinion.

Alan Murphy, Learmonth Grove, Edinburgh

Stop nuclear waste transport by road

PLANS to transport radioactive waste by road from Torness power station to Hunterston in north Ayrshire are deeply concerning (News, July 7).

French nuclear firm EDF Energy is applying for new authorisation to move the most dangerous nuclear waste between its two nuclear power stations.

These plans would be very dangerous to proceed with, may lead to fatal accidents and would cause a nightmare on the roads.

Let’s hope these ridiculous plans do not come to pass, for the sake of public safety.

Mrs June Fleming, Hercus Loan, Musselburgh