Readers' letters: Council must work with business on the look and feel of Edinburgh

“In challenging times let’s focus on what is wanted and needed by Edinburgh’s businesses and residents”

Council must work with business on city

Jo Mowat makes some interesting points (‘Here’s why Edinburgh council is messing up the city’, News, 30 August).

As an Edinburgh-based business that has invested large amounts of capital in improving the built heritage of the city, we find the frustrations caused by the lack of basic services such as rubbish collection, offensive graffiti and pavements in disrepair to be endless.

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Edinburgh 10 years ago looked far better than it does now. Standards have been allowed to slip and no one at the council is championing the city centre.

It is about getting the basics right, but it is also about taking a coordinated approach to maintaining the integrity of Edinburgh’s historic environment.

As we have brought historic buildings in the Old and New Town back into use, attracting new businesses to the city centre and offering new hospitality options for local residents, collaboration on the part of the council hasn’t always been forthcoming and is always disjointed, even when we have been actively fulfilling local development policy objections and ambitions.

The city would benefit from having a dedicated council official whose role it is to promote and look after how it looks and feels and who engages with businesses, so partnership approaches can be sought.

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Having paid our share of business rates, we have also helped with street cleaning due to gaps in council provision. We are more than willing to pay our part, but the council must fulfil its duties too.

As Ms Mowat says, these are challenging times, so let’s focus on what is truly wanted and needed by Edinburgh’s businesses and residents – a place where we can thrive and one that we can all enjoy.

Chris Stewart CEO, Chris Stewart Group, The Tower, Advocate’s Close, Edinburgh.

Fuel for thought over new E10 bio-blend

It is claimed that the new E10 fuel blend (containing 10 per cent bio-ethanol) will be a key element in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, removing the equivalent of 350,000 cars from the roads.

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In his letter Otto Inglis (News, 2 September) rightly points out the relative futility of this change when set against the big league emitters such as China and India. It should also be noted that the vast fleet of machinery needed to cultivate, sow, harvest and transport this feedstock of wheat, sugar beet and oilseed rape crops are powered by fossil fuels.

Huge fertilizer, pesticide and fungicide inputs further erode the credentials of this supposedly 'green' fuel. Indeed recent studies have concluded that biofuel production releases more carbon than it saves.

It will now need an over two million hectares for Britain to fulfil its 'Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation.' This amounts to almost twice the agricultural area of Northern Ireland, of which nearly 70 per cent must be sourced from beyond our shores.

Neil J Bryce, Kelso.

Demonstrators should pay way

Police Scotland has vowed to put human rights at the centre of how it handles Cop26 protests. They would be better employed protecting the human rights of the general public.

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The XR protests in London cost the Metropolitan Police £50 million. How much will it cost for Cop26 - £100 million has been suggested.

Demonstrators should be made to pay to demonstrate, preferably in a field where they cannot prevent people going about their daily activities or vandalise buildings, statues and property. An angry public should demonstrate against the demonstrators.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow.

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