Readers' letters: Flooding infrastructure is the  first line of defence

"The council’s own data makes clear that there has been a marked drop in street cleanliness”

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 7:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 12:49 pm
Cars parked in Comley Bank in Stockbridge, Edinburgh, were pictured almost submerged in rainwater after flash floods hit parts of the city during the storm.

Infrastructure is the first line of defence

I think most people will accept that flooding was the inevitable result of the rainfall we saw (and heard) on Sunday, and would agree with the council that clean gullies alone would not have prevented much of the disruption we saw (News, 6 July).

We should not pretend, however, that well maintained infrastructure is not the first line of defence when dealing with any rainfall event. It’s not uncommon in my ward, however, to see a gully choked to the gunnels with weeds growing out of it.

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It is worth also considering, however, what’s blocking the gullies. The council’s own data makes clear that there has been a marked drop in street cleanliness in Edinburgh and that it is not meeting its own targets. It’s this material that’s blocking the gullies.

It’s not just these basic services where problems exist. Fly-tipping incidents have increased by 91 per cent since 2017. Weeds are now so big in parts of my ward they are trip hazards. Our capital looks unloved, and council staff are exhausted playing catch-up.

I’m a huge fan of some of the strategies the council has produced over the last few years, but I think all of Edinburgh’s 63 councillors could do more to ensure the council is getting the basics right too.

That’s about asking questions to find out what the issues are, but it is also about standing up for Edinburgh and ensuring it has the funding it needs.

Above all else, we need to be honest about the challenges we face.

Cllr Dr Scott Arthur, City Chambers, Edinburgh.

Don’t blame the residents for floods

I heard Cllr Lesley Macinnes on local radio blaming Edinburgh’s flash flooding on the city’s residents.

Apparently it was because many people are converting their gardens to mono-block driveways, thereby allowing rain to gather in the street.

Nothing whatsoever to do, then, with the council’s poor maintenance of drains and gullies? Or the fact that people are perhaps creating driveways because they can no longer park outside their own homes, because Spaces for People initiatives of double yellow lines or cycle lanes prevent them from doing so?

Lindsay Mackenna, Clark Avenue, Edinburgh.

NHS needs better funding not medals

I wasn't impressed by the Queen's award of the George Cross to the National Health Services of the United Kingdom.

Trying to buy workers' allegiance with just a medal smacks of condescension from the establishment, when these social services need proper funding and a fairer wage structure.

So, what happened to the £350 million a week that Boris Johnson promised would find its way back into services that take pride of place in the hearts of most of the British public, if we voted to leave the EU?

I have been disappointed how our media outlets in general have looked the other way regarding this big fat lie and are now waxing lyrical about a lump of metal that won't address the problems facing our wonderful National Health Services.

Jack Fraser, Clayknowes Drive, Musselburgh.

Cost of Covid

England will pay a heavy price for allowing up to 100,000 cases a day on its NHS waiting times. It is completely irresponsible to encourage people not to wear masks from 19 July, particularly in busy streets and in supermarkets etc.

But this fits in with the Tory philosophy of “I’m all right Jack” and never mind those vulnerable people who will be put at risk.

Mary Thomas, Watson Crescent, Edinburgh.