Letters: Libraries strategy sounds like a cutback in my book

Edinburgh City Council is currently consulting on a strategy for Library Services in our city. A jargon-packed strategy document can be found in your local library, or on the council’s website. Everyone should read it.

The document speaks of confusion amongst library users about opening hours and the need to standardise these. Whilst some libraries may benefit from longer hours on a Saturday, the standardisation of hours proposed will see all libraries closed on Sundays, and no more late night opening on Thursdays anywhere in the city. And some libraries won’t be open at all on a Thursday. That doesn’t sound like standardisation, with other libraries open during the day. It sounds like a cutback.

With many households facing financial pressures, rising unemployment in the city, and the continued concerns about inequality in opportunities, the long-term picture should surely be one of providing more library services, not cutting back. The commitment to ‘ensure our citizens, especially our young people, have free access to the digital world’ means that public libraries should be easier to access, not harder. Many homes do not have internet access.

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Staff levels have already been greatly reduced, so any extension to hours will doubtless require further investment in staff. When budget decisions are made this year, let’s see a strong commitment to Edinburgh’s public libraries.

Ann Henderson, Gilmour Road, Edinburgh

Investing to lift quality of water

REGARDING the letter from Mike Brown on January 28 (“Flood of issues to consider over water treatment plants”).

Scottish Water is investing to improve the quality of the drinking water for the capital city. The new plant at Glencorse will replace two ageing plants in the city and equip Edinburgh with a modern and secure water supply.

This will improve our service to customers by offering superior and consistent water quality. We have contingency plans to ensure the water supply is not interrupted.

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Under the rules stipulated when Scottish Water was established in 2002, any redundant asset or land must be sold at the market value.

Any money gained is re-invested in the business to ensure we continue to deliver increasing value for money for our customers.

Any future decision on our redundant water treatment works at Alnwickhill will be for the local planning authority.

Helen Lennox, head of corporate affairs, Scottish Water, Dunfermline

Car cocoons are killing Capital

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HELEN Martin is wrong in her belief that more cars will mean a thriving city (News, January 30). The opposite will be true.

If you take public transport to work, you’re more likely to buy your milk from the local store, talk to and know your neighbours, and engage in your community.

Helen Martin’s vision of everyone cocooned in their cars to and from work is exactly what is killing this city.

John Nichol, Wardlaw Place, Edinburgh

Planning process lacks consistency

AT Greenland Developments, we feel we must comment on your article “Judge kicks out new flats”, News, January 25).

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This site was sold to us by City of Edinburgh Council as a development site.

We followed their advice and proposed a design similar in size and scale to that which the council’s own architects had devised prior to the sale and which would have included our making a contribution of almost £200,000 towards affordable housing and local infrastructure.

Our designers worked with the Planning Department for 20 months and completed every conceivable requirement.

At the Planning Sub-committee meeting the proposal was rejected.

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Given the £3 million value of this development, and most significantly the fact that the council’s own Planning Department had recommended approval, we were disappointed not to be granted even a 15-minute site visit meeting with the Scottish Minister’s Reporter never mind the public inquiry that we’d requested.

All that we ask for is that some degree of consistency is introduced into the planning process.

Greenland Developments Ltd