ON Saturday afternoon I walked past Leith Waterworld and the lights were on but no-one was home. It had a sad empty feel about it. I got my News and read the article Remember When about the pools in and around the Capital.
I have written to councillors asking that Waterworld be kept open and I got responses which boil down to finances, the Royal Commonwealth Pool and how important it is to pay for that.
The council is meant to be providing and maintaining services for the good of the community and in my opinion Leith Waterworld was a successful, useful facility, well used by the community both locally and from further afield.
It ticked a lot of boxes including encouraging children to learn to swim and respect the water while having fun and socialising with others. Who knows it could be the start of future swimming champions’ careers.
Money is important, but just as important is maintaining communal areas well used and popular with people served by the council.
Y A Bruce, Balfour Street, Edinburgh
Those living here should get vote
IT was with much bemusement that I read the call by James Mitchell to open up voting in the independence referendum to those ‘Scots’ living elsewhere in the world (Letters, January 21).
Eligibility to vote should be based on the franchise for Scottish Parliament elections and follows the precedent of the 1997 devolution referendum, and the call by Mr Mitchell would see the right to vote in the referendum for these expat ‘Scots’ based not on residency, but on nationality, a position which smacks of racism.
In addition, being that there is also no such thing as a ‘Scottish national’, it also opens up a whole debate as to what defines an individual as ‘a Scot’ – someone born here? Someone born elsewhere but whose parents/grandparents are ‘Scots’?
The move to base the franchise on the electoral register is consistent with the internationally accepted principle that constitutional referendums should have a franchise determined by residency.
In addition, the registration and validation of entitlement to vote for hundreds and thousands of Scots-born individuals spread across the would add significant complexity to the task of organising and running the referendum.
Those individuals born in Scotland who live elsewhere and have a commitment to the nation have the obvious solution of simply coming back to Scotland and registering to vote here.
Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh
Our legal system favours council
WHILE agreeing with Mary Church’s view on access to courts, her comments fail to express the greater picture on Scottish law (Letters, January 20).
Local authorities are protected from actions being taken against them in Sheriff Courts, whilst having the unique provision of being able to obtain court orders against anyone they choose without recourse to a hearing in these courts. Such orders, should they fall outwith the “tax collection” provision, fail to meet the “fairness” test of Human Rights Act compliance and the courts are failing to provide those so subjected to hearings.
None of these types of processes have as yet been examined by our courts for HRA compliance and would certainly fail. Only those able to bring cases to court, slopping out and prison votes and such like, get to court because legal aid is obtainable and results in an unfortunate public perception of the HRA in Scotland.
This hotchpotch of legislative processes is a system which protects and favours councils in this way results in services being provided in an autocratic way and has over years given us councils that simply ignore those it knows cannot do anything about it.
John Byrn, Seventh Street, Newtongrange
Who will pay for business losses?
THE disruption caused by the tram works has seriously impacted on city centre businesses. Rose Street, Princes Street and George Street have all seen drops in their takings.
Also, the smoking ban has impacted on public houses. Have businesses the legal right to seek redress for losses?
Trevor Swistchew, Victor Park Terrace, Edinburgh