Letters: Staff parking ban shows uncaring mindset at ERI

I am astounded that staff at the ERI at Little France are to be banned from parking in the hospital car parks (News, February 3).

Local residents were never consulted over the ERI, which was forced upon us against our wishes. A hospital which we warned was being built in the wrong place and which would be woefully too small for purpose. A hospital we feared would increase traffic exponentionally in local residential areas. It gives me no pleasure to report that these fears have been fully confirmed.

When the hospital first opened, the extortionate parking fees in the private car parks led staff and some visitors to attempt to park in local areas. This led to conflict with residents who found parking spaces outside their homes taken by others, which occassionally boiled over into abuse.

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To therefore ban staff from parking at the hospital is sheer ignorance which has not learned the lessons from the past.

And with a new Aldi supermarket about to open on Gilmerton Road, I now foresee more traffic problems in Moredun, which this parking ban can only exacerbate.

The ERI was forced upon Moredun and Craigour by those who have never lived in this area, and cared little or nothing about the needs or wishes of local residents.

It appears to me that this parking ban is being enforced by those of the same ignorant and uncaring mindset.

Leslie John Thomson, Moredunvale Green, Edinburgh

Report will explain Lothian Buses saga

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I take great exception to Mrs Bourne’s letter of 4 February (‘Hinds is taking the wrong route over Lothian Buses’).

It is categorically untrue that I have not replied to Mrs Bourne’s emails on this issue – on the contrary, I have sent personal responses to every single email.

The council has acted entirely in accordance with proper governance procedures throughout this whole business. As we have stressed since the outset, our chief duty as majority shareholder, and acting on behalf of council taxpayers is to make sure that stable and effective management is restored to Lothian Buses as soon as possible.

Claims and counter-claims flying about in the pages of this newspaper cannot alter the facts and we look forward to bringing forward a report soon which sets these out clearly and conclusively.

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Councillor Lesley Hinds, Chair of Transport for Edinburgh and Convener of Transport and Environment

Reasons we should not back assisted suicide

Six reasons occur to me why we should not legislate to provide assisted suicide:

It would result in a corruption of the doctor-patient relationship founded on cure or care.

It is a distortion of the meaning of autonomy to drag others into killing you . Also , they may live to regret doing so . Watching suffering is emotionally draining but causing death can be much worse.

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It is contrary to existing public policy of positively addressing the despair of those contemplating suicide.

It risks the downward spiral of the so-called ‘right to die’ becoming a duty to die.

It would result in a decline in the extent and quality of palliative care as individuals and society increasingly turned its attention to systems and methods of killing people regarded as or regarding themselves as ‘burdens’.

It is unnecessary because no matter how disabled, anyone with proper monitoring, care and medical attention, can pass away himself by stopping taking food and minimising liquid intake. This has been shown many times.

That is a far more courageous and independent way to go.

Bill MacDonald, Harmony Court, Bonnyrigg

Hague’s plan vote for Scottish tax powers

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I was delighted to see William Hague back full devolution of income tax to the Scottish Parliament.

Mr Hague’s proposals, which would see only English MPs voting on income tax, is only logical if the Scottish Parliament has full control over income tax, which under the Smith Commission proposals it doesn’t.

Indeed, the Smith Commission itself recognises income tax as a shared tax, with control shared between the Scottish and UK Parliaments and calls for Scottish MPs to continue to set UK income tax levels.

Under the Smith Commission, while the Scottish Parliament will have the power to set the rates of income tax and the thresholds at which these are paid by Scottish taxpayers, all other aspects of income tax will remain reseved to the UK Parliament.

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These include the imposition of the annual charge to income tax, the personal allowance, the taxation of savings and dividend income, the ability to introduce and amend tax reliefs and the definition of income.

Under Mr Hague’s proposals we would, therefore, have the bizarre situation of English MPs setting aspects of income tax levels for Scottish taxpayers which Scottish MPs would have had no role in voting on.

Given this position, the only potential solution is full devolution of income tax to the Scottish Parliament and I for one am delighted to see Mr Hague go beyond the Smith Commission proposals and support this.

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh