LETTERS: The wrong kind of lights on Waverley Bridge

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I Am an administrator for the Edinburgh Street Lighting Group on Yahoo and recently I had my attention drawn to the 12 new replica standards currently in the process of being erected on Waverley Bridge.

Having seen some photos of them on Facebook, they look the part - at first glance. However, they don’t have the Edinburgh style of cast-iron brackets or the Edinburgh crest on the doors and on closer inspection of one photo I thought to myself “that’s a Dundee style of bracket”, as there are similar replicas in Dundee city centre.

Having seen further photographic evidence, it has confirmed my initial thoughts - that they are not Edinburgh replica columns on the bridge, but Dundee replica columns.

Although both designs appear similar, there are detail differences in the columns, the brackets and embellishments.

This may be an oversight on the part of the council, but as Waverley Bridge is a key tourist hub, then surely the replica columns there should be to the correct design - examples of which can be found on vintage columns around the corner in Market Street.

It doesn’t look right that the replicas which have been erected on Waverley Bridge are to another city’s design and it is also certainly not a good advert for the tourists given that these columns will appear in many of their photographs.

Furthermore it seems to highlight once again Edinburgh’s never-ending ability to mess things up, no matter the cost. It seems a shame that all of the recent work done on the bridge looks as if it will be marred by this.

Hopefully the council will see the light - so to speak - and correct the error.

Steven Oliver, Manse Gardens, Duns, Berwickshire

New fund target to help Scottish writers

It is a source of real concern for the cultural life of our nation that most Scottish writers earn less than the minimum wage for their writing – a key finding of a new report from Creative Scotland.

A survey commissioned by the Saltire Society last year found Scottish writing has a broad appeal. Almost 70% of Scottish adults said they purchase new books by Scottish writers and almost a third buy at least one new book by a Scottish writer every six months.

But this new report highlights the real challenges today’s Scottish writers face in making a living from their work. The Saltire Society recently launched a new trust with the aim of raising £5million by St Andrew’s Day 2016 to help foster Scotland’s cultural talent. One early ambition of the Trust will be to create the Saltire Fellowships scheme.

The scheme would provide financial support to enable exceptional individuals in Scottish arts and culture to devote their full energies to their work.

Once established, I sincerely hope that some of Scotland’s outstanding writing talent can benefit from the scheme. That way, we can help ensure that Scottish writing continues to make a valuable contribution to our cultural life for many years to come.

Sarah Mason, Programme manager, The Saltire Society, High Street, Edinburgh

Don’t let hunting in through back door

On 15 July, MPs are to vote on amendments to the Hunting Act, which will effectively bring back hunting with hounds in England and Wales.

David Cameron knows that a majority of MPs would not vote to repeal the Act so he is using these ‘adjustments’ to try to re-introduce hunting by the back door. A key amendment will allow a full pack of dogs to flush out a fox, so that the fox can then be shot.

However, everyone who knows about hunting knows that the fox won’t survive long enough to be shot, because they will be torn apart by the dogs.

Indeed, in Scotland, where using a full pack of hounds is already legal, undercover film has revealed that many Hunts don’t even bother to take guns with them.

Allowing a full pack of hounds to flush out a fox will mask traditional hunting, and so it will be virtually impossible to bring prosecutions under the Act. Hunting will be back.

The vast majority of the public are against hunting, but many MPs are not, so the vote in Parliament is likely to be close.

I would urge readers to contact their MP immediately and ask him or her to vote against this legalisation of savagery.

Richard Mountford, Animal Aid, Tonbridge, Kent

Scotland should hold firm on immigration

As part of his proposed reforms of the UK’s relationship with the EU, David Cameron wants to restrict migrants’ access to benefits, housing, education and health care.

I would hope that Scotland will follow any restrictions imposed and avoid the tsunami of immigrants seeing Scotland as a soft touch.

I am certain that the 165,000 unemployed in Scotland would agree.

The SNP urged David Cameron to do more for the Mediterranean refugees and offer refuge and asylum.

What is it with the SNP that they want to take in all the world’s waifs and strays?

They are not asylum seekers but people seeking housing and welfare benefits and would certainly never boost the economy by paying more in taxes than they take out.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

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