Missing: Clean streets and public toilets - readers' letters

I have just returned from a short stay in the impressive Stratford-upon-Avon.

Edinburgh city centre is woefully lacking in public convceniences
Edinburgh city centre is woefully lacking in public convceniences

In addition to the well-known historical sites and visitor attractions, we were struck by two features of the town that Edinburgh should seriously consider reintroducing.

First, the streets of Stratford were remarkably clean and virtually litter-free despite the large number of tourists. The reason was the presence of individual street cleaners with their own wheeled container for rubbish.

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They had responsibility for the cleanliness of their own assigned area and quite obviously took considerable pride in the work that they were doing.

I well remember that this is how Edinburgh's streets used to be managed, with cleaners picking up litter but also carrying out seasonal tasks such as weeding kerbs and gutters. What a difference it would make to the appearance and cleanliness of our streets if such a service was reintroduced in Edinburgh.

The second lesson to be learned is that in the centre of Stratford there are no fewer than eight public toilets serving an area much smaller that our Old Town.

It really is shameful that there are so few public toilets to be found in Edinburgh. I feel particularly for our visitors and our older citizens.

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As an Edinburgh Festival Voluntary Guide I am regularly asked where the nearest public toilet is. Many have to ask local shop and cafe staff if they can use their facilities. I have even seen young children forced to relieve themselves on the High Street.

For a city that prides itself as a world-class tourist destination, surely we can do better than this. Temporary toilets are provided for major sporting and cultural events, why not for our visitors to our historic city?

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Eric Melvin, Edinburgh.

We don’t want an ID card scheme, thanks

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Why is the Labour Party so keen to spy on us?

Now Keir Starmer digs up the corpse of David Blunkett's lunatic ID Card scheme and threatens us with it once again.

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In 2008 the London School of Economics estimated the set-up costs of Blunkett's scheme at £12bn.

How many hospitals will Starmer close, how many pensioners left cold, to inflict on us a system that will be hacked as easily as a Minister's phone? And all to bring us a step closer to China's totalitarian Social Credit Society. Well he can kiss my vote goodbye.

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Barry Tighe, Ilford.

Greens’ basic income plan lacks detail

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Last week saw the publication of the Scottish Green Party's economic plan for an independent Scotland.

This thin document's main proposal was the introduction of a universal basic income. All very well, but the Greens made no mention of how this would be achieved, of what benefits might be affected, no mention of its probable effect on tax allowances and no mention of at what level it might be set.

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With its astonishing lack of detail, the Green's proposal is an excellent addendum to the SNP's own lightweight economic strategy.

Jim Houston, Edinburgh.

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Ship building

I recently watched a documentary about the building of the Titanic and her sister ship the Olympic. In Belfast, these were the largest passenger ships ever conceived and built at the time. They took just over three years to construct.

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This roughly equates to the delay time involved in producing on the Clyde, what by comparison are two rowing boats 100 years later. So much for progress!

Dr SR Wild, Edinburgh.

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