What happened to the city I once called home?

Edinburgh's streets are in a state of disrepair. Picture: Sean Bell
Edinburgh's streets are in a state of disrepair. Picture: Sean Bell
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We visited Edinburgh on Bank Holiday Monday via the park and ride service from Straiton to the city centre, which was excellent.

After an enjoyable walk over Salisbury Crags I was surprised to see the spending of a further £6.5 million on an extension to the Scottish Parliament building.

From there we joined the Majestic Bus Tour and alighted at the Royal Botanical Garden. It is several years since I was there last and I was most impressed with the new buildings and facilities.

The Majestic Bus tour left me wondering why I had bothered joining the tour as we were shaken about from beginning to end over roads which were sadly in need of repair.

Surely the people of Edinburgh cannot be happy with the amount of money being spent again on the Parliament buildings when the road system is in such disrepair.

What happened to the Edinburgh where I lived for more than 30 years with clean streets, excellent shops and Princes Street, which must have been the envy of many cities? What must the tourists think?

Elena Rogers, former resident of Edinburgh

Quinn comments on banks nonsensical

It was intriguing to note leading economist Brian Quinn comment that if a Scottish bank required to be bailed out after independence, there would be a potential “dispute” over who should undertake this, be it Scotland or the rest of the UK (Quinn query on Scots cash, Evening News, August 29).

Unionists have used the banking collapse to trash the prospect of an independent Scotland many times before now.

However, by international convention, when banks which operate in more than one country get into these sorts of difficulties, the bailout is shared in proportion to the area of activities of those banks. There would therefore not be a cause for the “dispute” referred to by Mr Quinn.

In the case of the collapse of the Royal Bank of Scotland, for example, roughly speaking 90 per cent of its operations are in England and 10 per cent are in Scotland.

The US Federal Reserve also stepped in to bail out US operations linked to RBS and HBOS. In Europe the governments of France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg joined forces to help the Fortis and Dexia banks operating across their borders.

If an English-headquartered bank operating into Scotland were to get into difficulty, the Scottish Government would ­assist in bailing out its operations, as the impact of its failure would be felt north of the ­Border as well. Being in a stronger financial position, with oil reserves valued at £1 trillion, Scotland would indeed probably find it easier to negotiate a better deal through the international money markets than the rest of the United Kingdom would.

For the rest of the UK to refuse to assist in the bailout of a Scottish-based bank, resulting in a damaging impact felt by those in the rest of the UK, is nonsensical.

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh

Recycling proposals should be trashed

Your editorial (Simplifying recycling is a good move, News, August 28) welcomes the simplification of the recycling system, yet fails to point out that the current council administration banded together to vote down £71 million of savings and an improved recycling system in 2010.

The ABM project initially supported by the Labour and SNP groups, but finally voted against by them, would have delivered 60 per cent recycling rates by 2016, met all government targets and improved air quality by using bin lorries which could collect all waste streams in one pass.

I find nothing to applaud in this travesty of a proposal which requires capital borrowing to achieve a 50 per cent recycling target – the service user (that’s the general public trying to put something in the bin) has not been at the heart of the service development, but narrow ideology about who employs the bin man has been put first. This is no way to serve the public and will not achieve any savings for five years. The current decision only applies to low-density housing and does nothing to improve recycling provision for high density tenement areas – I find nothing to welcome in this agreement.

Councillor Joanna Mowat, Conservative councillor for City Centre ward, City Chambers, High Street, Edinburgh

Fracking facts prove plans make sense

LOTHIANS Green MSP Alison Johnstone should know better than to parrot the anti-fracking propaganda (Letters, August 27).

In the US the total number of aquifers polluted by either fracking fluid, or methane gas as a result of fracking is zero. Two recent peer-reviewed studies concluded that ground-water contamination from fracking is “not physically plausible”.

The movie Gasland showed the methane coming out of a water tap being set alight. This was an entirely natural gas contamination of water and the director knew it.

As for her “contaminating water”, fracking fluid is 99.51 per cent water and sand.

The remaining 0.49 per cent are chemicals all of which are in your kitchen, garage or bathroom.

She says that fracking will not bring down energy prices.

In America, the electricity prices have been slashed by two thirds.

The cost of electricity in Europe is double that of America. Says it all.

Can Ms Johnstone answer one question?

What difference will Scotland make to world-wide emissions with only 0.15 per cent of global emissions, especially when China, India, America, Brazil and Indonesia refuse to entertain any CO2 reduction targets?

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow