Eye Pavilion plays a vital role in Edinburgh - your views

"I appeal to the Health Secretary to maintain the world class facilities here in Edinburgh”

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 4th March 2021, 7:00 am

Eye Pavilion plays a vital role in capital

Regarding your story: "Edinburgh s Eye Pavilion: former director says current building 'clapped out’ ” (News, March 2).

In recent years the sight in both my eyes has been saved by the skill and prompt treatment I received at the Princess Alexandra Edinburgh Eye Pavilion in Chalmers Street.

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My sister, who lives in a part of England which was unable to provide the same level of expertise, lost the sight in one eye when she had the same operation as me.

Can I, therefore, appeal to the Health Secretary Jeane Freeman to maintain the world class facilities here in Edinburgh, rather than have them dispersed throughout the Lothians or attempting to refurbish a hospital that was built in 1969 and declared unfit for purpose in 2014?

Dorothy Lewis, Paisley Avenue, Edinburgh.

UK aid cut to Yemen is shameful travesty

The UK slashing of its aid pledge to war-torn Yemen for a second time has condemned thousands of children to starvation.

Yemen’s brutal conflict has seen four million people displaced and thousands of children killed by famine and disease. The sick irony of this is that while the UK is cutting aid, it is continuing to license the sale of billions of pounds of arms to Saudi Arabia. It is also the lead country at the UN, the so-called “penholder” on Yemen.

The ring-fenced aid is less than half the £200 million originally pledged in 2019, which was slashed to £160 million and now stands at £87 million.

Cutting aid by more than half for the greatest humanitarian crisis on earth in the middle of a global pandemic is disgraceful. It also breaks a pledge in the Tory manifesto that it would maintain overseas aid at 0.7 per cent of national income, which has now been slashed to 0.5 per cent.

The UKis the only G7 country to cut aid this year, while others are ramping up their humanitarian support

It should urgently put this issue to a vote in the House of Commons before it cuts any more lifesaving projects which are clearly in Britain’s national interest.

Despite all the talk of global Britain, it is abandoning its moral obligations, pulling us further away from our allies and stepping back just as the USA steps up.

Alex Orr, Marchmont Road, Edinburgh.

Life of Brian is back on viewing menu!

Justice Minister Humza Yousaf’s well-intentioned but controversial Hate Crime Bill has taken on many compromises.

“Intent” is now required in accusations of “stirring up hatred.” Criminal threshold will require the validation of a “reasonable person,” and after pressure from secular campaign groups and others, religion and belief are no longer to be cushioned from "expressions of antipathy, dislike, ridicule or insult."

While this wording is still slightly less robust than similar free speech protection in England and Wales, we applaud the government for this decision and rejoice that Life of Brian is back on the viewing menu.

Neil Barber, Edinburgh Secular Society, Saughtonhall Drive, Edinburgh.

Dognapping fears

“Dognapping” is an alarming, growing epidemic. Thieves know that “purebred” and “designer” dogs sell for high sums. To help keep animals safe, it’s vital that everyone microchip their animal companions and keep that information up to date.

Those who pay for puppies from breeders or online rather than go to rescue groups and animal shelters add to problem.

Jennifer White, PETA, London N1.