Interactive: Council has failed to clear our roads and pavements

The council fails every year to clear the snow from local roads and most importantly city pavements.

It looks like they have jumped on the "it wasn't my fault" wagon once again.

Last year it was shortage of grit and this year's excuse is a "heavy snowfall" which is in fact a couple of inches of snow.

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I think they are having a laugh and I don't believe in a shortage of salt, grit and labour. It's time for Edinburgh's council to go!

After the failure of the trams project, keeping the Capital's pavement's snow-free proves to be another mission impossible. Is it a shortage of shovels this time?

Kris Zborovich, Edinburgh

Gritty perks for privileged few

CAN someone of a position of authority at Edinburgh City Council explain why the people who live in Wester Coates Road/Avenue/Terrace are repeatedly having the fortune of having these roads ploughed and or gritted by council vehicles before West Coates itself and the rest of Corstorphine Road, which is a main arterial route into and out of the city?

It would be very interesting to hear why the preference when the rest of the city remains untouched by the council leaving people with not such expensive properties unable in some cases to get to work.

I'd also like to know why gritters are moving around with the plough down and not spreading behind.

John Galloway, Craigentinny

No reason to give halls exemptions

CAN you run a hotel service without paying any council tax or water and sewage charges?

Yes, if you are a university hall of residence.

Halls of residence operate as hotels/hostels during vacations, but are still not liable for any of these normal charges because their initial function is as student residences. Throughout the UK, students are exempt from paying council tax. For example in halls of residence or in any rented flat with only student tenants there is no council tax -neither for students nor the owners of such properties.

Scotland - and only Scotland - also exempts student residences from water and sewage charges.

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So, in Scotland's halls of residence and student-rented flats, neither tenants nor owners have to pay water and sewage charges.

However, during the vacations these are not necessarily operating as student residences. Halls of residence operate as hotels/hostels for anyone from anywhere.

There is surely no valid reason why these vacation businesses should continue to enjoy 100 per cent exemption from council water and sewage charges.

Jessie Slater, Home Street, Edinburgh

Put proposals to the electorate

WHILE moves to devolve more powers to the Scottish Parliament through the Scotland Bill are to be welcomed, the financial powers are far too limited.

This tinkering around the edges will fail to boost economic recovery and support long-term sustainable economic growth. It will in fact lead to a budgetary reduction.

From April 2016, Holyrood will set a Scottish income tax rate each year, applying equally to the basic, higher and additional rates. This would be accompanied by a reduction of some 35 per cent in the Scottish budget Treasury grant.

At the same time, the main UK rates of income tax will be reduced by 10p across the income tax bands.

Scottish ministers would then have the freedom to set a rate that was either below or above the rest of the UK. The bill suggest the new tax represents a "significant funding stream" with a 1p increase in the rate currently yielding 450 million - the equivalent of 1.7 per cent of the current Scottish budget

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These are more powers than the limited 3p adjustment to the basic rate voted on in the 1997 referendum.

Given the fact that the 3p adjustment necessitated a referendum question, it is only right that the Scotland Bill proposals should be put to the Scottish electorate in a referendum.

Alex Orr, SNP candidate for Lothian, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh