Supervisors must take blame for ‘pit stop care’

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I REFER to your front page story “Anger over ‘pit stop care’ of our elderly” (News, August 5). Surely the person in charge of Mrs McGuire’s carers must see the time sheets provided by these workers.

These people are paid by the citizens through our council tax and if the superiors in home care cannot do the job properly then they should not be in a position of trust.

Would they like their mum to be treated as Mabel McGuire has been? I think not.

Mrs McGuire is a legend in the south side of town and deserves a better care package from the city council.

I had a concern with my own mother back in 2000 regarding the care package offered and my mother would not have these carers in the house – very unprofessional people.

I trust Mrs McGuire’s son keeps up a record. His mum deserves better at 93 years of age. To the care department of the city council, I say shame on you.

Norrie Taylor, Montague Street, Southside, Edinburgh

Students cannot be blamed for exams

If indeed exams are being dumbed down it’s not the students who should be criticised for this, it is those who are responsible for making up and marking the exams.

If future generations of Scots kids are to compete effectively and efficiently in the global employment market, this will not be achieved if they are being made to feel brighter than they really are.

Angus McGregor, Edinburgh

Festival cash could revamp bandstand

ISN’T it time something is done about the state of the Ross Bandstand, pictured right, in Princes Street Gardens? Who is responsible for its maintenance? Anyone?

It seems to be in need of a lick of paint at the very least. The stage is strewn with litter, the glass door holed, the stairs mildewed, its roof badly needing a clean, quite apart from the Ladies and Gents signs prominently defacing the building.

It is an eyesore in the heart of Scotland’s capital, a total disgrace.

Perhaps some of the revenue from this year’s Festival could be used to revamp it?

RGT Booth, Blackford Hills View, Edinburgh

Sports stars lacking Murray’s attitude

Are there others like me, who may have a sneaking suspicion that many of our sporting stars of the 2012 Olympics may be succumbing to the world of money and superstardom?

Cyclists, heptathletes, divers, swimmers, runners, gymnasts and many more seem to have either retired, lost their touch, failed to compete or just simply lost interest.

Viva Andy Murray and his wonderful attitude!

Phil Cowan, Laverockbank Avenue, Edinburgh

Devolution is best for Scotland’s future

THERE is no doubt that the devolved settlement with Scotland looks more in tune with the 21st century than other arrangements.

Because of the flexibility of the devolution process, Scotland is now in a stronger position to build for the future and is able to make demands for greater autonomy over Scottish home affairs within the Union.

The Scottish National Party’s argument is founded on oil wealth, but now, in the 21st century, no modern economy would base its whole future on just one commodity, and one that has unstable and volatile pricing. Not even the rich countries do that.

And with only nine per cent of the UK population, Scotland has won 12 per cent of the total UK funding resources for research.

Scotland’s largest trading partner has been England. Scotland’s trade with England is a bigger market than its trade with the rest of the world.

Chas Dennis, Niddrie Marischal Road, Edinburgh

Confusion instead of conveniences in city

Standing in and around the High Street, Lawnmarket area, Parliament Square, ask a Fringe adviser where the nearest public toilet is.

The answer comes – I do not know.

Where are the signs?

Where are the public toilets?

Tom Reilly, Esslemont Road, Edinburgh

Companies are losing out to VAT dodgers

While I welcome proposals by the UK Government to extend new rights to consumers to help tackle rogue traders, the plans appear not to tackle the increasing problem of “cash in hand” builders.

In difficult economic times a growing number of consumers seem willing to turn to firms who will work “cash in hand”.

Our recent survey on the issue found that more than half of firms had been pressurised by customers to ‘lose the VAT’ on at least one building job in the past year – and 42 per cent of firms had lost business because they refused to do so.

Therefore, it is concerning that a growing number of consumers are flouting the law and taking business away from VAT-registered firms.

We have consistently argued that the Treasury should cut VAT on all building works to 5 per cent. Not only do we believe that this would stimulate demand for the struggling construction industry, it would also encourage consumers to choose registered and accredited firms.

Vaughan Hart, managing director, Scottish Building Federation, Edinburgh