Letters: Railing against disgraceful train link between capitals

The train service between Edinburgh and London is a national disgrace. My elderly parents, one of whom is disabled, travelled from Edinburgh to King’s Cross, booked on first class.

The system of seat reservation was not working and a first-class compartment had no heating in these freezing temperatures. In fact, all the compartments were quite cold.

The tea and coffee was also cold and there was not a single operating toilet in first class. The toilets that were working were filthy.

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It is unacceptable that in this day and age we cannot run an efficient, clean, affordable train service. This was supposed to be a treat for my elderly parents and the start of it was ruined.

Until we can get a political class who can get a grip of our railways, take a plane.

Gary Smith, Lansdowne Place, Hove, East Sussex

Don’t flush cash away on toilets

THE leader of Edinburgh City Council, Jenny Dawe, claims the Capital’s economy is in rude health (News, February 9). Yet there is so much missing from this budget announcement.

Nothing has been spent on Edinburgh’s real economic infrastructure. I think the budget is still a very long way off its target.

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It is not about bricks and mortar, public toilets or even winter festivals.

There are approximately 230,000 young people who cannot find skilled employment. The Scottish Government’s youth employment strategy has failed.

Many businesses are closing down and our public services are being fragmented all over the place.

Housing development is a joke because so much is being done by the private sector who build houses for sale, not for social reasons.

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This “windfall” should be spent rebuilding our economy by bringing back some of our lost industrial past, not spending on peripheral things such as toilets and winter festivals.

Chas Dennis, Niddrie Marischal Road, Edinburgh

Construction is a vital foundation

I WRITE in relation to the near £100 million pledged by John Swinney in the Scottish Government’s budget to be spent on affordable housing.

This boost to the affordable housing funding pot must be welcomed. This is a significant sum spread across different yet complementary areas which will help to in some way ease the burden we presently face.

The demand for affordable housing is at its highest for a generation and, at present, there simply isn’t the funding to build the level of supply required.

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Although this is a sizeable boost, we must ensure it is kept in perspective in relation to the mounting waiting lists we face.

It is imperative the impact good social housing has on society overall is not underestimated, providing homes that people are proud to live in and developing strong communities.

We are facing constrained times but this latest announcement shows the government recognises the vital role affordable housing has an investment for the short, medium and long-term success of our country.

Keith Anderson, chief executive, Port of Leith Housing Association, Constitution Street, Leith, Edinburgh

Keeping switched on to licence need

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IN response to Angus Logan (Licence to create a mail headache, News, February 6), I wanted to clarify TV Licensing’s communications process with households that don’t require a licence.

When we are informed a property doesn’t need a TV Licence, we immediately update our records to reflect this. A visit may take place to verify the situation but then letters to the address are stopped for two years.

We only get in touch again to check circumstances haven’t changed, for example the occupants haven’t moved house or started watching live TV online.

TV Licensing does its best not to trouble genuine non-viewers and we have taken steps to make it easier for people to notify us online.

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Whether you contact us by phone or via our website, our priority is to deal with issues quickly and accurately to ensure we can minimise further contact.

A 20 per cent reduction in complaints over the last year alone is partly due to our ability to resolve queries on first contact.

Fergus Reid, TV Licensing, West Regent Street, Glasgow