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Evening News, 108 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, EH8 8AS
I WAS very disappointed to read the criticism of Edinburgh City Council's property conservation department (News, 21 June).
To those of us interested in the conservation and proper repair and maintenance of Scotland's built heritage, the powers, systems and staff Edinburgh has in place are the envy of the rest of Scotland and the UK.
The citizens of Edinburgh should be grateful that they have a council that ensures that private properties are properly repaired and maintained by qualified tradesmen when the rest of the country has to rely upon squabbling neighbours that when they do get any works done, go for the lowest price, which often means no professional expertise and unaccredited tradesmen.
At least Edinburgh City Council has a system that addresses masonry falls and takes action when private property owners fail to do so.
Colin Tennant, Scottish Stone Liaison Group, Rocks Road, Dunfermline
Relocating NHS staff not healthy
I REFER to your article "Health staff on the move to save cash' (News, 16 June). Staff at St John's Hospital in Livingston oppose the decision and are seeking advice from Unison. Finance staff based at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, Astley Ainslie Hospital and Deaconess House have to move site due to release of clinical accommodation.
The staff at SJH had already moved out of clinical accommodation, but the senior management tried to get them to centralise in Edinburgh under the same scheme. Thankfully Unison were outraged when they heard and put an immediate hold on the process.
The management are currently writing a business case to justify their decision to move SJH finance staff to save money.
Unison wants to know how they can validate this, when relocating the staff will incur a cost of approximately 100,000 in travelling expenses over four years. (The freed-up units at SJH will still be used by NHS Lothian, so no saving there either).
Relocating West Lothian Finance will impose child care costs and travelling expenses on the staff, not to mention an additional two hours a day travelling time, losing family and personal time and inevitably resulting in a lack of flexible 'goodwill' working and sticking to rigid working timescales.
The redeployment policy under organisational change means staff who decide not to go are safeguarded for life (no compulsory redundancies – see the recent Nicola Sturgeon letter issued to all NHS staff). But senior management have said they are currently reviewing the policy and will be changing it so that staff that are not suitably placed within another position within three months their employment will be terminated.
Staff member, NHS Lothian, St John's Hospital
Sinister, naked effigy not wanted
WHY are the authorities allowing our areas of scenic beauty to be marred by Antony Gormley's sculpted body (News, 17 June)?
Is he so vain that he wants the country to admire his sinister naked effigy?
I want to look at a pure, unadulterated scenic area and have my own thoughts, but these statues upset that process of enjoyment and mind-calming.
A Henderson, Midlothian
Thanks for support on the Moonwalk
I COMPLETED the Full Moon – 26.2 miles – as part of this year's Edinburgh Moonwalk at the weekend, and would like to send huge thanks and praise to two groups of people who very often are unsung heroes.
Firstly, the police. Throughout the night these men and women encouraged and praised myself and my fellow walkers, as well as directing traffic round us and ensuring our safety.
Secondly, the people of Edinburgh. From the second 12,000 bra-clad men and women left Inverleith Park, we were greeted by applause and cheers by the people of the city. At 6am a cheery "Good Morning" is the most tremendous boost when you have been walking since midnight!
Muirial Weighand, Livingston