Readers letters: Getting to know your election candidates

I checked out the candidates standing in Leith Ward in the forthcoming council elections next month, using Who Can I Vote For?, a site as developed by Democracy Club.
Candidate need to make voters aware of their views on issuesCandidate need to make voters aware of their views on issues
Candidate need to make voters aware of their views on issues

Out of eight candidates only three have contact details for voters to contact about the issues they care about. How is this democratic? At this rate voters are voting blind.

I'm particuarly concerned, as a woman, about Edinburgh Rape Crisis which is funded via Edinburgh Integration Joint Board by Edinburgh Council.

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Currently due to Edinburgh Rape Crisis being run by a man - women who ask for women only services are not receiving any care.

How as a voter can I find out what potential candidates think of this failure of policy and care for women of Edinburgh?

Mary Gordon, Edinburgh.

City traffic schemes hit public transport

They’re at it again. Edinburgh Council has a grand plan for getting us all to abandon our cars and ‘walk, wheel and cycle’ around the city.

They aim to create on George IV Bridge the kind of massive snarl up that has been perpetrated in Forrest Road. I’m not sure how many cyclists used the dedicated cycle lanes when they were in force on GIVB, but cyclists will now have a segregated track all to themselves.

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The photo I have seen of the plan shows pavement, two-way cycle track and then a track with the occasional bench to support the weary traveller who is trying to cross the road. Only after that is there actual road, and then another pavement.

The area of road is totally unrealistic: it has a smooth and uniform surface without the many patches and potholes to which the long-suffering public is now accustomed. It also shows people waiting at a bus stop that the council took out of use many months ago.

I wouldn’t dream of taking my car into town now, but I do travel into town by bus. It is the bus service that will pay the price for this harebrained scheme - and that means drivers as well as passengers

Edinburgh is a city of narrow streets and many buses. The council’s plans to anathematise cars, privilege cyclists and reduce road capacity is also a direct attack on those who use public transport. Bus journey times are lengthening because the infrastructure works against public transport.

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This may or may not be the council’s objective; after all, they favour ‘walking, wheeling and cycling’, with no mention of public transport. The message is: you had better be young and fit if you want to get around central Edinburgh.

Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh.

We need a free national elderly care service

The News carried a story (April 8) about the private care provider, Renaissance Care in which the company said it was cutting out 12 hour shifts for carers and awarding a 5 per cent pay rise to its staff.

This will take carers' wages up to just over £10 per hour, hardly a fortune.

These policies are merely the equivalent of applying a sticking plaster to a cancerous lesion, the cancer being the private, for-profit model of residential adult care.

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The average cost of a room in a private care home is over £1000 per week in Edinburgh, meaning many people have to sell their home so that companies like Renaissance can line the pockets of their shareholders.

In contrast the Scottish Socialist Party is calling for a National Care Service which is publicly funded and run and free at the point of need, with a minimum wage for all staff, regardless of age, of £12 per hour.

Michael Davidson, Leith.

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