Readers' letters: UK planning for grand theft water

Where Art I? Edinburgh Sketcher - July 29, 2022Where Art I? Edinburgh Sketcher - July 29, 2022
Where Art I? Edinburgh Sketcher - July 29, 2022
It has been reported that senior Tories have suggested that Scotland’s water could be appropriated to solve England’s drought by putting into effect the old idea of a lock-less “mathematical” canal.

The proposal was first advanced 80 years ago and is dug up periodically, including during the time Boris Johnson was Mayor of London, when he gave it his usual unthinking endorsement, much along the lines of his ideas for a network of road tunnels under the sea to Ireland.

The cost quoted for this fantasy is £14 billion, but that is likely to be as near the mark as the cost quoted for HS2. Who cares however?

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There is Scottish gas, Scottish electricity and Scottish oil to pay for it. There is also ample precedent in the Welsh farms and valleys inundated to supply Birmingham with water for this kind of exploitation of the subordinate constituents of the United Kingdom.

If England wants more water for its gardens why doesn’t Westminster set up desalination plants in the south of England?

Costly perhaps, but there is no harm in that when at least part of the cost can be charged out to Scotland. It would not go well with whisky, but neither does London water.

Elizabeth Scott, Edinburgh.

Is nobody in charge of street cleaning?

Imagine what would happen if a large private concern, say a shopping centre like the Gyle or a resort like Centreparcs, had a problem with their waste not being collected because of a dispute.

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Without a doubt whoever was in charge would immediately seek a temporary solution.

How much more important is Edinburgh - the home of half a million people and a showcase not just for Scotland but for all of Britain?

And during the Festivals when Edinburgh is for a month the world’s capital of culture? And yet nothing is done.

Is nobody in charge? Or are they perhaps frightened of being seen as strikebreakers - scabs as the militants would call them?

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Does solidarity with strikers take precedence over the reputation of a great city and the health of its residents? It certainly shouldn’t.

Otto Inglis, Crossgates.

Water bosses defy leakage for pay rises

Scottish Water is account-able to the Scottish Parliament. Scottish Water has a massive leakage of 30.2 per cent of its total water supply.

The 24 water companies in England also have leakages but the average for them is 17.5 per cent with Thames Water highest at 24.2 per cent.

The Scottish Government must explain why it gave the chief executive - salary £267,000 – a £92,000 bonus; the chief operating officer - salary £197,000 - a £68,000 bonus and the finance director - salary £195,000 – a £67,000 bonus.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow.

Loans to pay energy bills would be costly

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The CEO of Scottish Power has proposed a loan to help households with high energy bills.

Using his figures I estimate a loan amount of £4000 and a payback time of 15 years. From existing similar loans I will use interest rates of 7.5 per cent and 17.5 per cent. Putting these figures in a repayment mortgage calculator, a householder would need to repay between £6674 and £11,337 in total. It would be even higher for those who couldn't keep up with repayments.

In years to come could we see people struggling to clear this debt?

Geoff Moore, Alness, Highland.

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