Letters: The last thing we need is another fast food outlet

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At Edinburgh Community Food we read the “Meadows hot dogs fail to cut mustard with cyclists” article with interest (News, May 27). As an organisation that understands the wider importance of healthy active lifestyles, we agree that anything negatively impacting on safe active travel is short-sighted.

However, we are also concerned about why Edinburgh needs yet another fast food outlet.

With Scotland’s shocking obesity rates spiralling out of control (63 per cent of Scotland is now overweight or obese), and with comorbidities such as fatty liver disease, diabetes and metabolic syndrome blighting more and more lives, we think there is another more important question we should be asking: why is the council licensing ever more junk food outlets peddling high salt/sugar/fat “foods”?

The Meadows is an excellent outdoor space for family fun, sports and exercise. In light of Scotland’s grave issues we need bold steps to reduce Edinburgh’s obesogenic environment.

A good start would be to make communal outdoor green spaces such as the Meadows junk-food free.

Lyndsey McLellan, Edinburgh Community Food, Tennant Street, Edinburgh

Let’s celebrate our fabulous capital city

I WELCOME the figures quoting that Edinburgh is the happiest place in the UK and that 97 per cent of residents are satisfied with the city as a place to live (News, May 28).

Some of us are not surprised, but for the doubters, have a look at Edinburgh in the bigger context.

We are known worldwide for our stunning cityscape, good schools, thriving culture and a safe environment for family life. Every year, tourists flock from all over the world to share in our beautiful city, taking in the world class festivals, many bars and restaurants or sporting occasions such as Six Nations rugby.

Our property prices are above the Scottish average, but this is down to the success of the city and the demand from people looking to move here.

In fact, according to the survey, we even get below average rainfall – although I am not 100 per cent convinced on that one.

In all seriousness though, Edinburgh is an amazing city and we should celebrate it.

Matthew Gray, Queen Street, Edinburgh

Put destiny in hands of those who care

Frank Russell thinks we are better together in the UK (letters, May 29). That only applies to very few. Thanks to successive Westminster governments, the UK is the fourth most unequal country in the developed world as the gap between the rich and poor widens.

Westminster isn’t working for Scotland’s economy as its one size fits all policies are geared towards the needs of the City of London and the South East of England based on a highly volatile stock exchange and house prices.

With independence, Scotland can be one of the wealthiest nations on the planet and voting Yes in 2014 gives us the opportunity to take a different path.

We can begin to build a society that better reflects Scotland’s priorities.

The referendum is not a vote for or against Alex Salmond or the SNP, it is vote to put our own destiny in the hands of the people who care most about Scotland’s future rather than politicians at Westminster where Scottish MPs are outvoted by 11 to one.

Fraser Grant, Warrender Park Road, Edinburgh

Animals not taken without good reason

It is disappointing that the Scottish SPCA was not provided with the opportunity to directly address comments from Ian Clark, director of the Scottish Association of Country Sports, in your article “Horse lover fury at abuse claims” (News, May 24). The Scottish SPCA is unique among animal welfare organisations and charities in the UK in being a reporting agency to the Crown Office Procurator Fiscal Service and our inspectors are authorised to enforce the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.

Under no circumstances would we remove an animal without just cause. Any suggestion otherwise is misleading and incorrect.

The procurator fiscal is an independent arbiter who decides based on the evidence and public interest whether prosecutions should take place.

This ensures the integrity of the legal process.

Mike Flynn, chief superintendent, Scottish SPCA

Scalpel wielded on the streets of Leith

WE live at the dock gates end of Constitution Street. Years ago when the trams saga was on the go, we were invaded by teams of street surgeons.

The streets of Leith were put under the scalpel and were gouged out.

Their innards spilled all over the district. It was ruthless!

Our young trees, planted in 2002, were brutally amputated. The streets were left scarred, tram-atised and in a state of shock.

These intrepid road surgeons returned to Constitution Street in April and they are doing a good job in restoring the pavements. The cosmetic work has been impeccable. So for a change, I am saying: “Well done, Edinburgh City Council.”

But as for the trees, I think they have gone to that big garden in the sky.

Nan Wilson, Constitution Street, Leith