'Leadership is sadly lacking at all levels - Readers' Letters

Three articles in yesterday’s Edinburgh Evening News struck me as intrinsically linked yet wholly contradictory.
Should world leaders such as Joe Biden have stayed at home rather than attend COP26?Should world leaders such as Joe Biden have stayed at home rather than attend COP26?
Should world leaders such as Joe Biden have stayed at home rather than attend COP26?

First was that Edinburgh Council want an “LEZ plan ‘in place by the new year” closely followed by how “US president’s motorcade criticised as climate conference gets under way” and finally that the “Water of Leith has overflow pipes discharging sewage”.

We hear much about sustainable environments, yet a world leader is spewing 1 Mil Kg of carbon into the air to attend COP26 and City of Edinburgh Council is trying to restrict residents’ freedoms through a Low Emissions Zone as recorded levels of pollution are falling while the level of filth flowing into our city’s river is “not monitored, so there is no data showing how often there are sewage spills or how serious they are”.

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World leaders would do much better to meet virtually and apply pressure on China and India to reduce coal burning while I had hoped the SNP/Labour-controlled Edinburgh Council would have learned a lesson after their disastrous Spaces for People project but, once again, we see global and local leadership prioritising what appear to be unproductive vanity projects over effective management.

Christopher Cowdy, Edinburgh

Occupational therapy has changed my life

This week marks Occupational Therapy Week, a time to celebrate and say thanks to these wonderful people that make a positive difference to many lives.

I live with a terminal illness and first became an inpatient at the Marie Curie Hospice in Edinburgh five months ago. I was very unwell and immobile, but through one-to-one sessions with the occupational therapists, I started to feel much stronger and well enough to return home in September.

What really stood out was the emotional and physical strength they gave me to be able to walk to my local shop to pick up a newspaper for the first time in months. For me, that was a huge milestone and something I was so grateful to be able to do as I felt like the old me had returned.

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Being there to ensure I enjoy the quality of life possible for the time I have left is as important to them as it is to me. Returning home to live independently and being made aware of what allowances I was entitled to has made such a difference to my wellbeing.

Without their constant support my life would not be the same as it is today. I know so many other people like me who rely on occupational therapists will join me in taking a moment to thank them from the bottom of our hearts, not just this week, but for the rest of our lives

Bob Stewart, Midlothian

Expensive PR stunt

Overseas Aid is a function reserved by the UK government in the agreed devolution settlement. That, in a clearly staged publicity stunt, the First Minister should pledge £1 million of taxpayers’ money to help developing countries is a clear breach of the agreement. Such an act should have really been beneath even a publicity-mad regional leader in the UK.

Surely that £1m gesture – significantly not done privately and with dignity but in a fanfare of PR – could have been infinitely better used in tackling our failing schools, underfunded councils or combatting the highest drug deaths in Europe.

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The drugs death situation was ironically most likely brought about at least in part by those in control in Scotland over the past number of years ignoring this and similar problems to concentrate on their obsessional wish to break up the UK.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh

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