Evening News Letters: Lifebelt should have been thrown to swimming centre

I AM writing you with huge disappointment about the decision to close Leith Waterworld. I attended a full council meeting and watched in disbelief how political agreement overcame rational and emotional thinking.

Many councillors showed understanding of the value and uniqueness of Leith Waterworld in their replies to my e-mails yet all of them apart from the Greens voted for its closure. This is not what they were elected to do – to serve people.

Shutting down a well used amenity, a special place for whole families to be together and spend quality time together, the only suitable pool for babies, toddlers, primary school kids and disabled people, is working against people, not for them.I can’t accept that Edinburgh will trade this place for a little patch on a Royal Commonwealth pool hole. It is a quick fix leading nowhere.

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There are many much smaller towns in the UK able to sustain a leisure pool, how come the capital of Scotland can not?

Leith Waterworld should be an investment in kids, their health and happiness.

Anna Mitrovic Kotúcková, Easter Road, Edinburgh

Council perks are still up for grabs

NERO was infamous for playing the fiddle while Rome burned.

Having read that money has been found, from God knows where, to fund team-building exercises, it seems that the city council has now borrowed the mad emperor’s music sheet.

How else can it be explained that council staff will be able to bond together, at our expense in a time when the cupboard is totally bare, by climbing, abseiling and kayaking (News, December 29)?

Where are the kayaks for our kids when Leith Waterworld shuts? The Crags Leisure Centre has been another unfortunate casualty.

I suggest a cost-free motivational programme for council staff. They can wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and say to themselves: “I’m lucky, I have a job and I shall go and do it.” Not everyone can do that these days.

It’s time for council staff used to perks to wake up and smell the coffee. And pay for it.

Gerry Boylan, Sleigh Drive, Edinburgh

Make new homes your resolution

NEWS that more than 2000 homeless families with children were living in temporary accommodation in the run-up to Christmas is a shocking statistic. This includes 5800 children, many of whom will still be there at Easter.

It is disappointing, therefore, that in its response to these findings, the Scottish Government focuses solely on B&B hostels to the exclusion of the thousands of substandard temporary homes in the socially rented sector. It is these very homes – the ones nobody else wants – that families find themselves trapped in for months if not years on end.

That is why Shelter Scotland and the Chartered Institute of Housing in Scotland produced voluntary guidelines for standards in temporary accommodation last year. Since then little has changed.

With the stroke of a pen the housing minister can make these guidelines official Government policy so that next Christmas Scotland’s homeless children are not facing the same risks they face today. That would be a real resolution for 2012.

Gordon MacRae, head of communications and policy, Shelter Scotland, Edinburgh

Salmond on the horns of dilemma

FROM now on the EU will charge international airlines a carbon tax on flights to Europe.

Chai Haibo, deputy secretary general of the China Air transport Association, is furious and said that, other than Europe, no other countries support this punitive tax.

The Chinese state-owned news agency, Xinhua, said: “This is a trade barrier in the name of environmental protection, but it constitutes an attack on the interests of travellers and the international aviation industry and it will be difficult to avoid a trade war.”

Alex Salmond wants Scotland to be an independent country and a voice in the EU.

Scotland exports thousands of tons of salmon to China and recently it was announced, to great fanfare, that £69 million of whisky had been exported in only nine months.

Mr Salmond wants closer links with China and the EU but having both seems highly unlikely.

Will Alex Salmond back Europe and thus fall out with China and then see his exports hit by a trade war?

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow