Letters: Portobello’s new Aldi store is backward move

The city planners’ decision to OK an Aldi store for Portobello is not only crazy, but goes in the face of the Edinburgh local development plan retail policy regarding town centres.

According to that, planning permission for retail development should only be granted where there will be no adverse effects on a centre’s vitality and viability and where the proposal will reinforce its retail fortunes.

Planning vice convener Sandy Howat says that Aldi will provide “something different” (Evening News, December 18). How true – a dead high street.

All supermarkets offer ‘budget’ and own brand products. City planners should note that Aldi has just been taken to task for the second time by the Advertising Standards Authority because of its misleading price comparisons. They should not be taken in by Aldi hype.

Porty, with its prom and village charm, should be developed to attract visitors, not killed stone dead by the council embracing a foreign retail giant. Housing is welcome; Aldi – and the traffic it will create at a bad spot – is not.

S Taylor, Moira Terrace, Edinburgh

Potholes give tourists a bad image of city

There are huge potholes on at least three main roads in Edinburgh’s city centre, all used by emergency services. Two are outside large hotels, thus giving a very poor impression of the city to visitors.

All could cause accidents and are causing bus drivers to swerve to avoid jolting their passengers.

I have just reported eight large potholes, one small pothole (with exposed wire), and one missing sett to the council by phone.

Unfortunately, the online system did not work – so perhaps others have tried in vain. Only two were already known to the council.

These are not the result of extreme weather; just neglect by a council rather better at hype than good public service.

Moyra Forrest, Starbank Road, Edinburgh

No surprise in Jim Murphy’s SNP jibes

So, newly elected Scottish Labour Party leader Jim Murphy, as predicted, is peddling the myth, that a vote for the SNP is a vote for those nasty Tories.

Are those the same Tories with whom he stood shoulder to shoulder, endorsing every negative vibe they projected at Scotland?

Are those the same Tories he was cuddly-duddlying up to every smooch-way and loose throughout the referendum campaign?

Can it be that the Tories have changed their spots? Or is it that Mr Murphy has more faces than Big Ben?

After all, he claims he believes in an independent Scottish Labour Party, but NOT in an independent Scotland.

Joseph G Miller, Gardeners Street, Dunfermline

Extending tram system is sensible future plan

John-Paul Holden’s article (‘A penny-pinching 2015 ahead for our skint city’, News, January 6) made interesting reading, particularly in the respect that the population of Edinburgh will exceed 600,000 by 2030.

Fortunately an integrated transport system is in place and has been an outstanding success since its inception in May.

But the city must not rest on its laurels. In the first instance the tram line must be extended to Leith (Newhaven) that will allow the withdrawal of some of the old, diesel, polluting buses.

All new buses are to be hybrid. The new vehicles on the number 1 service are a revelation and it helps the city to meet its European transport emissions targets.

Of course, there will be the usual naysayers and doom mongers that are against change. They must be ignored as Edinburgh continues its transport revolution in 2015 and beyond.

George Ritchie, North Gyle Terrace, Edinburgh

Time to give council exec Sue Bruce a break

Mr Alastair Macintyre should check his facts before he writes to your newspaper (‘Bruce not worthy of her New Year dame honour’, Letters, 
January 5).

Sue Bruce became chief executive of Edinburgh City Council on January 1, 2011. Therefore, she cannot be held responsible for any of the problems laid at her door by Mr Macintyre.

A A Miller, Clackmae Road, Edinburgh

Dog wardens need to take more active role

I have to agree with Jane Black’s letter in the Evening News on Saturday.

I wrote to the council website on December 4 last year, about problems we are having with people letting their dogs foul round our area.

A few months ago owners would pick up the dog dirt in black plastic bags, then drop the full bag on the ground or toss it into someone’s garden . . . nice! Now, they let the dogs foul and just walk away.

At the foot of our road is a children’s play park, with a sign on the gate saying ‘No Dogs’, but this is ignored. At night, many people allow their dogs into the park to do what dogs do.

Sadly I have had no response from the council. Seems people are being paid for being dog wardens but they are never seen.

Alun Thomas, Sinclair Close, Edinburgh