Readers' letters: Stockbridge flooding lessons not learned

" Much of Stockbridge is now a designated flood plain with all that that implies for property values”

Heavy downpours in July caused flooding in parts of Edinburgh, including Stockbridge.
Heavy downpours in July caused flooding in parts of Edinburgh, including Stockbridge.

Stockbridge flooding lessons not learned

It would appear the responsible authorities are pre-planning another major flood incident in Stockbridge, given that street drains and gulleys that have been blocked since road excavations of more than 18 months ago remain uncleared.

These excavations produced a great deal of detritus and no effort at all has been made to remove the packed soil and rubble which is impeding the free flow of rainwater, despite a much publicised flash flood just over a month ago.

While there may be some debate on responsibilites between Scottish Water and the local authority, with some regulatory input from SEPA, it would appear to be the council which bears the primary statutory duty under the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984 to maintain the street drains.

The council's failure to comply with the law in this regard must be addressed as a matter of urgency and not simply by sending a hi-vis squad around to clear the drains. It truly beggars belief that the highy paid officials and elected representatives who are neglecting to undertake a binding legal duty seem to be happy to sit back and let it happen again. Much of Stockbridge is now a designated flood plain, with all that that implies for property sale values and insurance premiums.

I would have thought a few resignations might be in order.

David J Black, Glanville Place, Stockbridge.

GPs and A&E need to work together

A recent report about the increasing pressure on hospital A&E departments is concerning.

Can I suggest there is one simple answer? These departments state quite clearly that they provide medical services for accidents and emergencies. They should confine their services to these two categories.The system is being clogged up by people referring themselves for routine medical care that that should typically be provided by GPs. These people should be refered back to their GPs and not seen. Also to add to the pressure, GPs are increasingly reluctant to see their patients face to face yet expect their NHS hospital colleagues to do so and so encourage their patients to go to the walk-in service being provided by A&E.

Roy Davidson, Livingston.

Criminal justice system is mince

‘Mince’, a local intellectual, has sprayed in large green letters on a bus shelter, my back fence and elsewhere in the village.

Should I report this vandalism to the police? I ask myself and almost automatically I answer no. My complaint wouldn’t get further than the Police Scotland call centre.

All the report would do is log a crime against my postcode and drive up my household insurance premiums.

Most people instinctively understand the broken window theory of crime. They know that if you don’t repair the damage done by vandals, this will only encourage more vandalism.

They understand that if the police and the courts don’t pursue petty criminals then crime will become normalised and their offending will only get nastier and more frequent.

The dirty secret of our criminal justice system is that Scotland has 60,000 problem drug users, who finance their addiction via criminality: shoplifting, burglary, robbery and prostitution, but only 8000-odd prison places.

The sentencing guidelines thus function as a sort of triage system for the criminal courts to keep offenders out of prison.

In a sense, the graffiti artist is quite correct, Scotland’s criminal justice system is ‘mince’.

Otto Inglis, Crossgates, Fife.