WELL, it seems the legal status of Portobello Park has been clarified. PPAG, those guardians of green space, (the green space next to their house) have gained a victory in court.
It seems that a local authority can (with court permission) “dispose” of common good land but cannot “appropriate” it for public use?
What does this mean? It means that a state school cannot be built on common good land for the good of the community. The council could, though, theoretically, dispose of the land and build a private school, a nuclear power station, a dog poo reclamation facility, or a NIMBY drop-in centre.
I for one am mystified at how the law provides us with such a perverse decision. So change the law.
William Wilson, Portobello High Street
Parents are right to go private
DAVID Shaw, a Labour researcher at the Scottish Parliament, is sceptical about private schools (News, September 18). However, there is a huge issue in the subject of education in Edinburgh just now which undermines his argument – namely the never-ending saga of a replacement for Portobello High School.
In an ideal world, a good education should be available to all children at no cost.
But we do not live in an ideal world. No, we live in a world in which petty squabbling and self-interest together with council bumbling have affected the education of a generation of children (yes, it’s been going on that long, and is some way from being finished).
Parents who can afford it are right to leave the education of their children in no doubt by opting to go private. It’s just a pity for the majority of the community who can’t afford it.
Andrew Morris, St Leonard’s Lane, Edinburgh
Accies will need to think of plan B
THE Portobello Park legal verdict is welcome. Precious green space needs protection from the creeping cancer of concretisation.
Witness the history of the connected tract of open land north of the city centre during the last 50 years.
Two fields have been lost to the police HQ and Broughton High School. The huge John Hope tourist trap has effectively disconnected Inverleith Park from the Royal Botanic Garden. Only vigorous opposition saved the park from a skatepark threat and then an intrusive housing scheme.
Now one of the two privately owned sports fields south of the park is a risk. The Accies rugby club want to build up to nine retail units plus a car park there.
Opposition is strong, but much is at stake on both sides.
The Accies may leave or fold if they fail to win approval. That is a big risk. They should remember Portobello and start looking for a plan B.
Alan Murphy, Learmonth Grove, Edinburgh
Will waste jobs head for the bin?
With all the complaints regarding the council’s new refuse collection system, that being 50 per cent less than before, surely there is a strong argument that some management are no longer required. The council cannot require the same amount as before whilst it is organising 50 per cent less of a service to the public.
Even with the old weekly service, there were more managers/supervisors employed than there were frontline staff. That applied in every area across the city. Another question this new system raises is, what are the workforce going to be employed in now that they are doing 50 per cent less work?
David Black, Kenmure Avenue, Edinburgh
Left baffled by dog ban at pub
ON Tuesday I took my dog Bobby to Edinburgh for the day. We arrived feeling hungry and thirsty.
We headed over to Greyfriars Graveyard as I am a fan of the old Edinburgh tale of Greyfriars Bobby. After a brief walk I tried to gain entry to Bobby’s Bar, which stands outside the cemetery. I was dismayed when the barman told me that dogs were not welcome inside the pub. I explained that my dog was on a lead, well behaved and is also called Bobby, which didn’t get even a smile.
I found this a bit odd and disappointing since the pub trades in the name of the old story and no doubt makes a lot of money from dog lovers.
Thomas Dunn, Stirling