Readers' letters: George IV famous visit to Edinburgh has been forgotten

This week sees the bicentenary of George IV's famous visit to Edinburgh. The King stepped ashore at Leith on 15 August, 1822 to be greeted by Sir Walter Scott and thousands of excited spectators.

The entrance of George the IV at Holyroodhouse by Sir David Wilkie (Picture: Royal Collection Trust)
The entrance of George the IV at Holyroodhouse by Sir David Wilkie (Picture: Royal Collection Trust)

Housed in Dalkeith Palace, the King enjoyed a two-week programme of events arranged by Scott. Arguably this was the first modern royal visit.

Apart from a lecture at the City Arts Centre, this memorable anniversary seems to be passing the city by. This is very disappointing. I feel that such an important occasion in Edinburgh's rich history should have been celebrated in some way.

I would also like to highlight another failure on the part of the council, namely the continued failure to introduce a tourist tax. With over a million visitors expected in Edinburgh during the course of the Festival, I fail to understand why this obvious source of much-needed income is not implemented.

Over the years, my wife and I have the good fortune to visit some 20 cities in Europe and Japan. In every one, a tourist tax or equivelent was added to our hotel bills. I cannot believe that the cost of a cup of coffee could ever be seen as a deterrent for potential visitors to Scotland.

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There seems little point in the council pleading poverty when a potential income of £20 million-plus is ignored.

Eric Melvin, Edinburgh

Labour should back higher pay offer

Everyone agrees that the lowest paid in society should be protected from devastating impact of Westminster’s cost-of-living crisis.

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However, Cammy Day (News, 15 August) needs to explain why Labour councillors joined up with the Tories on Cosla to offer only a 3.5 per cent wage increase to council workers and outvote the five per cent proposed by Cosla’s SNP councillors?

The reason Edinburgh is the lowest funded council in Scotland is down to the funding mechanism agreed between the Labour/Lib Dem Scottish Executive and the then Labour-dominated Cosla. As Edinburgh is the richest city in Scotland, perhaps a socialist council leader could tell us which local authority should be the lowest funded?

Where does Cammy Day think the Scottish Government, whose block grant funding for this year was decided by Westminster before the current energy and cost-of-living crisis arose, will get the extra money required as it has to balance the books every year? Edinburgh City Council has unallocated reserves of tens of millions, according to the latest published accounts.

As a net exporter of electricity, oil and gas plus massive cheaper renewable energy potential there is no reason why Scotland should be caught up in the UK’s energy disaster which is made worse by a Brexit supported by Labour.

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Fraser Grant, Edinburgh

Mrs Wolowitz deserved better

I read with much sadness that Mrs Wolowitz, Edinburgh Zoo's oldest Northern Rockhopper penguin, had been killed by a fox (News, 13 August).

Only recently there was an article in the News celebrating her 35th birthday. I know this is longer than she would have lived in the wild butthe thought of her being attacked and scared is horrible to imagine.

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If animals are going to be kept in a zoo, then it is the responsibility of the keepers and management to ensure their safety at all times. I find it hard to believe that fences were properly checked for holes or ways of foxes getting into the penguin enclosure.

Sylvia Wilson, Edinburgh

Write to the Edinburgh Evening News

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