We need an urgent Meadows action plan - your views

"It is deeply saddening and frustrating to see what is happening to the Meadows”

We need an urgent Meadows action plan

As a local resident, the level of anti-social behaviour witnessed on the Meadows on Saturday was disgraceful (‘Meadows mayhem’, News, April 3).

Mass brawls, a policeman hospitalised, people relieving themselves in local streets and rubbish strewn over this much-loved park was beyond appalling.

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This is not a one-off and neighbouring streets are regularly used as public toilets by those frequenting the Meadows. Rubbish is often left on the grass by those who cannot be bothered to bag it and bin, with locals then clearing up the subsequent mess. Many locals now dread sunny days.

I have written to local key stakeholders, such as the council, community council, councillors, the police and local retailers, to urge that they look at delivering an action plan to try to address this. This could look at issues around toilet provision, bins, park wardens, local outlets selling alcohol to underage children and how the police address large gathering such as this, illegal under the current Covid restrictions.

It is deeply saddening and frustrating to see what is happening to the Meadows and we need action now, not in six-months’ time.

Alex Orr, Marchmont Road, Edinburgh.

Increase littering fines to £1000

Scotland's bothy culture is at risk as idiots scatter litter and vandalise trees.

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Crowds of teenagers flocked to the Meadows in Edinburgh to blast music, drink and leave rubbish behind. Litter is a major problem but what does the Scottish government do? It puts up the price of carrier bags from 5p to 10p. Wow.

The Scottish government will introduce a 20p deposit return scheme (DRS) in July 2022 but existing bottle banks in council areas are extremely successful. So people, especially the elderly, will have to trek to their nearest DRS.

The idiots who trash our streets, roadsides and parks are not going to be deterred by a 20p bottle deposit or 10p for a plastic bag since they will have paid £5-£10 for their carry out.

Fines for deliberate littering should be increased to £1000. This would solve the problem not the softly softly educational approach which has failed miserably for over 50 years.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow.

Nicola gets figures wrong on energy

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In the Scottish leaders' debate on TV, Nicola Sturgeon claimed that 97% of our electricity already comes from renewables. It would be wonderful if it was true, but sadly it isn't.

The Scottish govern-ment's own website shows the sources of our electricity as: renewables 55%; nuclear 28%; fossil fuels 17%.

Of course, it is good news that renewables provide so much of our electricity, but overstating the case simply misleads people and could cause complacency.

Focusing on electricity creates a distorted picture of Scotland's environmental impact. That becomes clear when total energy consumption is analysed.

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Oil and gas make up 78% of total consumption which means our CO2 emissions are about 42 millions tonnes per year. Heating is a particular problem since 91% is powered by oil and gas. We really need to bring down those emissions before we start crowing about leading the world in clean energy. The simplest way to encourage people to burn less fossil fuel is to increase the price. We used that strategy with cigarettes and it helped to persuade people to stop smoking.

Petrol and diesel should be taxed more heavily to persuade people to use their fossil fuel vehicles less and to try green alternatives. That would reduce CO2 emissions immediately.

Les Reid, Morton Street, Edinburgh.

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