Twin-track approach for a new school is the right idea

Park is council's preferred site for school
Park is council's preferred site for school
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The council’s decision to pursue a twin-track approach to replacing Portobello High School is very welcome.

As the recent report to the council makes clear, the park remains by far the best site for the school if it can be built there.

In terms of location, size, and what facilities can be accommodated, no other site comes close. Whilst pursuing a legal remedy is not free from uncertainty, the park is the best site and the quickest possible route to a new school.

Any alternative has to go through an extensive process of development, so would take four to five years to deliver.

The only sensible course of action is to pursue both; look to build on the park, the best site and quickest possible time-frame, whilst also working on a fall-back plan.

It’s the only approach that guarantees the school will be built as soon as possible.

Sean Watters, Brighton Place, Portobello, Edinburgh

Nationalists have misled Scotland

Alex Orr claims that Alex 
Salmond is not a liar on the basis that 22 words were missed out of a transcript of his interview with Andrew Neil (Letters, October 25).

The fact is that Salmond and the Scottish National Party have been telling those who care to listen for at least two years that the SNP had obtained a legal opinion to the effect that an independent Scotland would automatically be a member of the EU and this has been revealed as a lie.

No amount of equivocation about an interview by Alex Orr, who rarely misses a chance to sing the praises of the SNP, can change the facts.

All this is par for the course for the SNP who have misled the country on the banking crisis, the “arc of prosperity”, the legality of their plans for the minimum pricing of alcohol, their allowing the tax variation powers of the Scottish Parliament to lapse and so on and so.

Donald McBride, Craigleith Hill Crescent, Edinburgh

Neglect, sadly, is not new to ERI

The Health Improvement Scotland (HIS) team found “a catalogue of neglect” in the care of older people in the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, (News, October 9).

HIS found what many have known for years.

What is described as “a catalogue of neglect” could be seen as a form of abuse in the trust that patients have in the health service. Staff are employed to provide compassionate care which respects patient’s dignity and individual needs. To do otherwise, as has happened here is an abuse of the trust invested in us.

Melanie Hornett, NHS Lothian’s nurse director, is reported as saying “NHS Lothian is committed to providing high-quality, safe and person-centred care”.

How can she be committed to something that is clearly not happening and has not been happening over the past ten years? This has been her responsibility. There is a duty of care towards patients and this seems to have been forgotten.

The inspectors found four areas of strength and 23 bad. NHS Lothian’s senior management should have been aware of the issues uncovered by the inspection. Did they not know what was going on in their patch?

A long-standing regime of systematic bullying has deterred NHS Lothian frontline staff from raising concerns about substandard care.

Many who were courageous enough to raise concerns have been hounded out of their jobs. Staying quiet leads to the lowering of standards that have been found here and nurses are now standing up and saying that enough is enough.

Nurses and doctors in Scotland are linked up with the national campaign Patients First launched in 2011. Healthcare staff who need support in providing good, safe care can visit

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Only the Tories can make it right

JACK Fraser (Letters, October 27) writes of ridding Scotland of the Tories for ever.

I was born in Scotland and have spent my life here – invariably voting Tory, for only right-wing politics will build a fair society. Would be it be acceptable to go into print publicly calling to rid our country of, say, homosexuals, or Pakistanis? – or of socialists? – or of Nationalists? Mr Fraser might want to reflect on where inflammatory language can lead.

Michael Upton, South East Circus Place, Edinburgh