Letters: Trams inquiry will mean yet more money wasted

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First Minister Alex Salmond has announced that a public inquiry will be held into the Edinburgh trams fiasco.

Edinburgh’s trams became a byword for waste and inefficiency by council officials. The trams were originally budgeted at £375 million and scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2009.

The final cost was £776m for a line far shorter than originally planned.

This costly inquiry will be unable to compel anyone to give evidence. All that comes out of inquiries are the words “Lessons have been learned” but no officials are ever sacked.

This inquiry will be just the same, with taxpayers picking up the eye-watering bill and is being used as an SNP political tool before the referendum.

The facts are the money has been spent, it is gone and for that we have one line.

Alex Salmond is posturing to try to get the referendum Yes vote from those who were affected by the tram work and those who thought the whole project was a total waste of taxpayer’s money.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

The simple answer at Hibs is Petrie must go

Leann Dempster, Hib’s new CEO, reckons that, “To say the chairman (Rob Petrie) needs to go is, in my view, quite a simplistic approach...” (News, June 7).

Along with around 2500 supporters, I attended the rally on Saturday last and to describe the contributions of the speakers, including Paul Kane, Pat Stanton, Mickey Weir and Jackie McNamarra, as “simplistic” is as insulting as it is disingenuous.

As Hibs supporters, we recognise that just removing Rob Petrie is not going to solve the problems at our club. It is, however, a necessary first step in a long delayed restructuring. Our club had its genesis in the community and that is where we need to relocate it.

Getting rid of Petrie is, therefore, necessary but in no way sufficient to restoring our club to those with the passion and resilience to turn up week on week at Easter Road, in the good times and in the bad. I don’t know what Ms Dempster’s commitment is to the game, but one thing we don’t want is another remote CEO who, like Mr Petrie, had never attended a football match prior his appointment.

As a number of speakers at the rally asserted, once Petrie and Dempster are long gone to other corporate enterprises we, the supporters, will still be here. So, if striving to remove a CEO who has presided over such a disastrous period is judged “simplistic”, so be it. On the contrary, it makes us realists.

Tell you what, Leeann, we no doubt need your professional expertise but do be in no doubt that we’ll take back this club, whether you feel we or our aims are “simplistic” or not.

Dr MJ McGrath, Daiches Braes, Edinburgh

Getting the figures right on cycling in the city

Sara Dorman (“Good intentions are not enough for our cyclists”, June 10) is enthusiastic about cycling in Edinburgh, as am I. But I need to correct her about the numbers shown by the cycle counter in Middle Meadow Walk.

The daily total of passing bikes amounts to about 2000. In the 46 days since it has been in position, that totals around 90,000 bikes passing. As Sara notes, the total figure currently shows well over 100,000.

Alas I have to inform Sara that I have chased off some kids on more than one occasion who have learned how to scam the counter, so I know that the current figure is too high by many thousands.

I have arranged for the counter to be reset during bike week next week after the engineers have revisited to design out the scamming, so that Sara and others are not misled.

Cllr Cameron Rose, Southside & Newington Ward

Carmichael and Darling are on wrong channel

Having listened to Forth 2 radio with the Secretary of State for Scotland, Lib Dem MP, Alistair Carmichael espousing the Better Together campaign, then to Alistair Darling kicking off the 100-day countdown to the referendum, I can only feel very confident that the Scottish people will vote an emphatic Yes on September 18. Carmichael told listeners that Scots who want independence are not any more patriotic than those who do not want it. How he works that one out might be found in the “made-in London” baloney baggage.

After over 300 years of Scotland being treated almost as a quasi-colony by the London elite, the London-born Mr Darling (great-nephew of former Conservative MP, Sir William Darling) somehow reckons that we will be allowed to lead the UK overnight after September 18. Darling, it appears, is snarling at the wrong shadows.

Personally, I would hate to be one of the No voters, spending the rest of my life regretting that I listened to Darling’s defectors.

The Tories remain deeply unpopular in Scotland and as a consequence, many in Scottish Labour are somewhat uncomfortable at the connection between the two parties in Better Together.

And after Nick Clegg’s coalition with the Tories in the London Parliament, the Lib Dems have been irreversibly damaged and rendered almost unelectable.

Looking at the wider British picture, I am sure that any region north of the Home Counties would jump at the chance of gaining independence from London. Unfortunately, they do not have a choice, they are forever yoked to London rule – we are not.

An independent Scotland would ensure that our long-suffering electorate would never again be governed by a Tory or right-wing administration for which we never voted. Let us not squander this once in a lifetime opportunity. Let us ensure that Scottish people, and only Scottish people, will forever make the crucial decisions for the public weal in Scotland.

William Burns, Pennywell Road, Edinburgh