DCSIMG

The animals are staying in the Capital

I FELT obliged to write to you after reading your article entitled "Zoo looks to Glasgow" (November 21) and also reading the comments on the Evening News website.

The headline implies that Edinburgh Zoo may be relocating to Glasgow. We have no plans to do this. Saying so could raise concerns amongst the public, our members, and employees of the zoo and, as chief executive of the organisation, I must address these concerns.

The message from us has been clear - any animal-based visitor attraction opened in the west of Scotland will be in addition to Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park. As the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, it makes sense to have an attraction in the west of Scotland but we can only proceed with this if investment is in place.

The decision by Edinburgh City Council was a major blow to our development plans. In the light of that decision we must now look at the options we have in creating a modern, world class visitor attraction in Scotland's capital city carrying out important wildlife conservation, education and research.

David Windmill, chief executive of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland

We'd be well rid of that shameful hill

THE zoo is not a jewel in Edinburgh's crown, it is one of our shames - having degenerated from being one of Europe's iconic zoos in the 1980s, to a collection of grubby retail outlets supported by a number of sad animals kept in circumstances and accommodation that look as if they should be of interest to the RSPCA.

The zoo is now a bad place which does not convey the picture we would wish visitors to Edinburgh to take away with them. It should be closed down, if not by its own management, then by the council. I took my grandchildren there this last spring, and left (because I can remember it in its heyday) profoundly depressed. Maybe the zoo, as an institution, has had its day.

I am not anti-zoo, and do recognise that there are education and conservation arguments - although those are falling fast in the face of television, and the fact that we're told the entire planet is going down the pan anyway . . . but I will admit that the older I get, the less comfortable I am with the confinement of even captive-bred "wild" animals. The zoo's announcement seems little more than the management, having had their business plan to sell off part of the zoo for development whilst grabbing some publicly owned green space for expansion, rejected . . . threatening to throw their rattle out of the pram, and go to the west. Let them. Please. They might scare the council but they don't scare me. That shameful hill is something we would be well rid of.

David Fiddimore, Nether Craigwell, Calton Road, Edinburgh

Scottish History in Highers is top class

I AM delighted that Scottish History will now become part of the Higher History exam. I am puzzled, however, why it should not equally be part of the Standard Grade exam. This would ensure more Scottish pupils will get the chance to learn about the history of their own society and culture.

The wider the knowledge of Scotland's rich culture and history, the better it will be for everyone.

Jim Bryce, King's Meadow, Edinburgh

Will HMRC pay up for bank changes?

MY bank manager advised me that I should change the number of my bank account as a safeguard against fraud in the light of HM Revenue and Customs' probable loss of my personal information.

She was glad to do this without charge, but I wonder if HMRC will be willing to pay any costs incurred by customers of other banks who demand recompense for the provision of new cheques, pay-in books and plastic cards?

John Eoin Douglas, Spey Terrace, Edinburgh

Action against a lawyer needs care

YOUR article (800,000 home with a big catch, News, November 20) regarding the couple who paid for a retirement home only to discover later, they said, that their lawyer failed to inform them of a vital condition attached to the property, demanding that the couple must run a fish farm if they want to live there, should not surprise anyone .

As a member of Scotland Against Crooked Lawyers (SACL) we come across numerous cases where people, like the Hendersons, lost from a few hundred pounds to vast sums of money in property and other transactions because of negligent and fraudulent lawyers.

In one such case, a female member of SACL and her husband thought they had purchased a dream home for a bargain-of-the-century price, only to find later that the huge house was landlocked within someone else's grounds and they had no access to it.

The lawyer denied any negligence on his part and they had to re-sell at a great loss, only to discover later that their lawyer was the person who purchased it from them. Who knows how many times he made money from this scam!

The Hendersons should be very careful pursuing legal action, however. SACL have learned from bitter experience that the Scottish legal system is an extensive brotherhood that jealously protects its own. In the case above, the couple complained to the Law Society of Scotland and also took out a lawsuit against their lawyer, all to no avail. They lost a lot more money by way of the legal dripping roast.

If I were the Hendersons, I would be very careful indeed reading into Lord Malcolm's words in the Court of Session, when he said: "I do not consider it would be proper to dismiss the action". The dripping roast could already have started oozing the cash for the legal brethren. I hope I am proved wrong and wish the Hendersons every success.

William Burns, Pennywell Road, Edinburgh

 
 
 

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