Exercise at a halt thanks to crèche crash

I WOULD like to register my shock and anger at the sudden news of the closure of the crèche at Portobello Swim Centre along with five other Edinburgh Leisure crèche facilities across the city.

I am a mother of two and have used the crche at the swim centre on a regular basis since my eldest daughter was two months old, over three and a half years ago.

Like many women, I found becoming the full time mother of a new baby was a wonderful but extremely stressful experience. The discovery of the excellent crche facility at the swim centre meant that I could regularly attend yoga classes or go for a swim, with complete confidence that my child was being cared for by experienced staff in a supportive environment.

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Being able to have this time to myself to participate in physical activity has been vital to my well-being.I do not drive and therefore cannot get to either of the two centres which are retaining their crche facilities, take part in a class and get back to Portobello in time to pick up my older daughter from playgroup.

I am now in a situation where I will have to stop attending exercise classes or swimming altogether until my youngest daughter is old enough to attend nursery – two and a half years away.

I find it absolutely appalling that parents and carers such as myself are being discriminated against in this way. Surely we, as council tax payers, should have access to the facilities offered by Edinburgh Leisure.

I had never been to exercise classes provided by Edinburgh Leisure until I found myself off work, caring for a baby and able to participate in daytime classes. Since then, I have always retained a full-time membership or held an Edinburgh Leisure Card. My familiarity with the facilities led me to encourage my partner to become a member and we enrolled our daughter in swimming lessons. We would not have been cardholders or regular Edinburgh Leisure customers had it not been for the existence of the crche, which allowed me to take advantage of the facilities on offer when I was a new mum.

Jill Fraser, Joppa Gardens, Edinburgh

Life turned upside down by project

I WAS amazed to read a letter from a Queensferry resident regarding the tram proposals, which made them sound all sweetness and light (March 7).

Apart from the serious disruption to businesses in Shandwick Place itself, the local residents have been given no information or support, and previously quiet streets have, in the case of Manor Place, buses passing every 30 seconds at peak periods, and at least one a minute at other times!

Privacy has gone, pollution is up, it is impossible to use parts of our homes, residents parking has been reduced to virtually nothing, and crossing the street is a serious danger. All for trams and – have you met ANYONE who actually wants them?

No, this is an example of the city council ignoring, again, its residents, and going for personal glory on the part of the councillors, with no attention to small matters like . . . residents, cost, benefit, amenity.

David Meek, Manor Place, Edinburgh

It's a dog's life for unwanted hounds

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THERE should not be a greyhound racing track at Almondvale Stadium (News, March 7). It cannot be morally justifiable in a so-called civilised society, for thousands of dogs to be bred for slaughter just so that a minority of people can bet money on them and a group of unscrupulous characters can line their pockets with the proceeds.

Greyhound racing inevitably causes the mass killing of dogs (20,000 estimated number of dogs currently put to death annually) and could not exist profitably without their slaughter, because the cost to the industry (with the average cost of keeping a dog being 800 per year) of looking after those dogs properly for the rest of their lives, would be far too great. The only way to put a stop to this mass slaughter of dogs is for greyhound racing to be brought to an end.

C Kirk, French Mill, Shaftesbury, Dorset

Sour note as fans mock our tune

I WAS at Murrayfield on Saturday, with my son to watch the mighty warriors from south of the Border travel back home to think again.

During the national anthems, the Scots around me stood silent whilst God save the Queen was played.

But when it was almost time for Flower of Scotland there were some Englishmen in front singing a derogatory song telling us where to stick our flower of Scotland.

I realise this was a small minority, but this was a disgraceful way to behave. It could have caused trouble and is the main reason why many people want the English to lose at sports.

Anyway, I cannot thank the team enough for their display as they were all superb, and did us proud.

John M Deans, Baberton Mains Drive, Edinburgh

Fish with Liquid is a very tasty treat

I WAS through in your city, for a concert by the excellent Fish, at the Liquid Room, on Friday. I would like to say thanks to the equally, excellent staff at the Liquid Room.

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I suffer from MS, and without the event manageress, Kath, and the floor manager, whose name I never got, my visit would've been much less enjoyable! A credit to the venue and your city.

David Macmillan, Columba Court, Uddingston, Glasgow

Leith's the place for a perfect time

THE article on the consideration as Leith to be host to a new culture centre for Edinburgh appears quite appropriate (Evening News, March 7).

The closure of the Highland Showground may be sad, but if Edinburgh truly desires to expand the tourism industry an expanded airport would be essential, despite the Green calls for a suspension of additional air miles, which is another matter.

Leith, which will be but a tram ride from the real tourist home area of the Old and New towns, would appear to be a prime location for a culture centre.

Passengers arriving on the expanding number of cruise liners could "bide a wee" in Leith before or after taking in the excellent, historic city.

Likewise, air passengers could, after a tiring day in town, slip down to Leith to enjoy a seafront walk and quench their thirst in the excellent award-winning restaurants in Leith.

What better a way to spend time than leaving the culture area by a trip up the Water of Leith by the barge Mary of Guise, disembark, just as royalty did, at the Queens landing on the burgeoning Shore. Be guided to the historic Lamb's House, Leith Town Council Chambers, South Leith Parish Church and Trinity House.

Steve Mitchell, West Granton Road, Edinburgh