Readers' letters: Adam McVey’s leadership ‘mandate’ claim is very slender

I had to do a double-take when I read my Evening News (May 16).

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 17th May 2022, 7:00 am

SNP Cllr Adam McVey claimed to have “a mandate to lead the city” despite his group having just 19 of Edinburgh’s 63 councillors and his party’s share of first preference votes fell to 25.9 per cent.This kind of outlook perhaps explains why the Greens, Labour, Lib-Dems and Tories all appear less than keen to work with Edinburgh’s nationalist councillors.

In the article he rightly mentions the “cost of living crisis” as being one of the biggest challenges facing people in Edinburgh today, but he failed to mention his party’s role in making it worse.

From driving up rents by allowing short term lets to run riot in Edinburgh for a decade to increasing our water bills to help fund Scottish Water’s boss taking a bonus of £227,000, the SNP have much to answer for.Indeed, the SNP’s failure to stand up for ordinary people in Edinburgh is a key part of why Labour can’t support them in running our city.

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We will, however, work with progressive people in every party who put our city first to help tackle the combined challenges of the cost of living crisis, the climate emergency and the covid recovery.

Cllr Scott Arthur (Colinton, Oxgangs and Fairmilehead)

The ferry contracts issue is a side show

The procurement process or who signed the CalMac ferry contract are merely side shows compared to the actual problems with construction (Alastair Murray, letters, 14 May).

No one is denying that it is a costly mess, albeit with the best of intentions to maintain Scotland's commercial shipbuilding capacity, but not helped by numerous design changes plus nine months of Covid shutdown. Ferguson’s bid was non-profit, to help win future contracts and CMAL thought it was the best quality, but the most expensive bid.

However, as Ferguson’s could not provide a full contract guarantee, this was reduced to 50 per cent liability and a judgement call was made by the Scottish government in order to create 400 jobs.

Opponents of the SNP would have been the first to complain if this work had gone abroad and the Polish and German yards that previously built ferries for CMAL went into administration, with both ships needing additional remedial work.

To put the cost to taxpayers into some sort of perspective, the over budget costs are much less than the mismanagement of the Edinburgh trams project or the Holyrood building, both under Labour/Lib Dem stewardship.

And it pales into insignificance compared to the ongoing costs of the Tory and Labour’s very expensive PFI building contracts that were forced on our hard-pressed health boards and education authorities.

Fraser Grant, Edinburgh.

Watch our for a swarm of e-scooters

Despite overwhelming evidence that e-scooters caused 11 deaths and over 2000 injuries the Queen's Speech revealed that e-scooters will soon be allowed on UK roads.

Our inept politicians have also ignored the well-documented fire risk of the lithium batteries on e-scooters. E-scooters, suitable for road use, will cost between £800 and well over £1500 so they should pay a tax to use the roads.

However, based on the e-scooter trial in England most riders preferred pavements and shopping malls, so pedestrians had better put on crash helmets and body armour and carry a fire-extinguisher - a swarm of e-scooters is coming your way.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow.

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