Letters: Winter Wonderland comes at a high price

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IT would seem that the natural splendour and serenity of the east end of Princes Street Gardens is being sacrificed for the sake of blatant and tacky profit.

There can be no denying the boost to the economy that the Winter Wonderland and other attractions bring but in view of the eyesore that is the aftermath (News, May 3) are these attractions worth it?

As has been suggested, perhaps they would be better suited to another part of the city such as the Grassmarket or Ocean Terminal.

But until profit remains more important than preservation the disfigurement will continue year on year until permanent damage has been done!

Angus McGregor, Albion Road, Edinburgh

Time to play fair with city’s indoor bowlers

THE proposal to close Portobello Indoor Bowling Centre (News, April 30) is totally unacceptable. This would be a big blow to the Portobello community and the city in general.

This bowling venue is used by young and old alike and by both sexes and is also the nursery for the game’s future bowlers. They are the lifeblood which keeps the game alive at outdoor clubs which are themselves in the doldrums.

The bowling season outdoors is a short one – April to September – and the indoors facility is well used off-season in the autumn and the winter months, with many tournaments taking place, plus it’s ideal as a means of exercise especially for seniors who otherwise would live a very sedentary life during these cold winter nights and days.

Perhaps if bowling was to be put on the schools sports curriculum it would encourage more of our youth to take up this very healthy and competitive game. I’m sure many of the city’s clubs would assist in the promotion of this in any way they could.

My own club, Pilrig Bowling Club, is at present already making plans for a membership recruitment drive and many members here take part in indoor tournaments at Portobello.

It’s not an expensive sport and is within the means of most people. I know clubs would be prepared to lend shoes and bowls on a short-term basis to anyone interested, to give those who have never played the game before the chance to try it out.

Over and above the sport itself, it also provides many other social events and activities.

I urge all the city’s councillors not to support the closure of this important venue – it is an asset to the city.

Frank Ferri, Newhaven Main Street, Edinburgh

Wind turbines plan? Let’s just sleep on it

WIND turbines would be banned across a fifth of Scotland under the first Scottish Government planning proposals specifically designed to protect the nation’s iconic wilderness.

Do not be deceived. Alex Salmond is throwing up a smokescreen and other areas will be contaminated with useless turbines.

There is a solution to this “march of the Triffids”. Councillors who are considering wind turbine applications should be required to try to sleep for a week near a turbine.

This will give them an insight in to what local residents are suffering.

If they refuse the planning application and it goes to the Scottish Government, then it should be mandatory that those who will be responsible for the decision should also spend time trying to sleep near a turbine.

There are many who would gladly offer the officials free accommodation.

I am sure these same people would also be glad to offer Alex Salmond two weeks’ accommodation and then instead of lording it with “we have the best CO2 reduction targets in the world” he would perhaps understand the cost in human misery.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

Joined-up thinking needed on cancer

RECENT figures on the incidence of cancer in Scotland serve as a timely warning about the challenges that the NHS faces in supporting ever-increasing numbers of patients to access effective treatments that allow them to survive the disease.

It is alarming that numbers of male patients being diagnosed with bowel cancer have had a significant rise, bucking a trend that has seen incidence of other types of cancer in men fall.

To tackle bowel cancer more effectively across Scotland, we must have a better understanding of the stage at which patients are being diagnosed, so that care pathways can be adapted more effectively to individual needs.

Much more still needs to be done to ensure all bowel cancer patients who are diagnosed receive the highest quality services, improving their outcomes and experience along the way. This is especially important as larger numbers of patients undertake screening and begin to access treatments through NHS Scotland.

The Scottish Government needs to ensure that the data on incidence and mortality is more joined-up so that patients and clinicians have a better idea of whether the increasing numbers of bowel cancer patients are getting the right treatment and ultimately surviving the disease.

Mark Flannagan, chief executive, Beating Bowel Cancer

Take care in battle for Hearts and minds

hEARTS are a much-loved Edinburgh institution and, as such, it seems inconceivable that they could go bust. News that a takeover led by supporters of the club is making significant progress (News, May 3) is, therefore, to be welcomed.

However, before fans rush to hand over their money they should be sure in their own minds of the risks involved – Hearts’ financial problems will not disappear with a change of ownership, however welcome.

Mark Wilson, Portobello

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