Interactive: Wave goodbye to working port with trendy 'villages'

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Evening News, 108 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, EH8 8AS

IT APPEARS from Wednesday's Interactive that the policy of the SNP is to oppose the biomass plant at the Imperial Dock and eventually replace the whole dockland area with trendy housing "villages".

The SNP representatives failed to mention in their letter that the "villages" will effectively close the Port of Leith as a working area.

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I am dismayed at the callous disregard that they have for our fellow citizens who currently work on the docks and in the port's other industries, including the world-class wave power facility of which we should all be proud.

By closing down the working area and its connecting railway, the SNP and its supporters will also preclude Leith from becoming the major support base for wind power units in the Forth.

Sadly, it is clear that the SNP wants to drive out what is left of the city's industry, when surely the dignity of decent jobs will do much more for the regeneration of Leith.

David Speed, Stair Park, Edinburgh

Deliver the mail service we deserve

AFTER your report on the number of complaints to the Royal Mail (News, 1 April) I was left wondering why anyone is surprised.

It is well known that management has been cutting staff across the board under the Thatcherite euphemism of "modernisation" (60,000 since 2003).

And the workers have been pointing out for over a year that these cutbacks are overloading the remaining posties to the point where it becomes physically impossible to make their deliveries promptly and safely.

Surely it's time to realise that these cuts, like the cuts in refuse collection, the civil service, the transport industry and elsewhere, are hurting worker and customer alike. Perhaps it's time to reinvest some of the Royal Mail's record profits in its staff; or perhaps the government could consider scrapping Trident – they'd be short a vanity project, but an extra 100 billion would go some way to providing us with the services we deserve.

Gordon Crawford, Scottish Socialist Party, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh

Walk this way for a healthier start

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I HAVE little sympathy with Damian Rowell, who is "outraged" that he will have to pay 28 a month for his son to take the bus to Holy Rood High (News, 1 April).

I don't want to come over all "In my day we walked five miles with nae shoes on" here. But at a time when child obesity is a health threat in Scotland, in tandem with the fact that our local authorities are down to their last farthing, would it be such a bad thing for children to walk to school?

I am not suggesting for a moment that Mr Rowell is anything other than a good parent. But the evidence is there before us in other families, with too many children being dropped off on the "school run" by parents in 4x4s whose offspring probably have little more exercise than manning the controls of computer games.

Maybe it's time some mums and dads swapped the kids' Wii for a wee walk to school.

Adam Beresford, Slateford Road, Edinburgh

Heat is on thanks to energy package

I WAS very disappointed to read the misinformation peddled by Labour's housing spokesperson Mary Mulligan regarding the Scottish Government's Energy Assistance Package (News, 30 April).

The EAP helpline offers myriad services, from free energy-saving advice to benefits check-ups as well as being the first port of call for those applying for a new central heating system. It is highly misleading to suggest that everyone who contacted EAP did so for a new system.

Indeed the helpline has been hugely popular, with more than 1,300 households being moved on to a very low energy tariff and nearly 34,000 households taking up the offer of assistance by the end of December 2009.

And when it comes to new central heating systems, the SNP government is delivering more than under the previous administration with 33,937 private households getting new or upgraded systems since April 2007.

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Ms Mulligan may have got her headline but she has done so in a way which may well put eligible pensioners off applying for the help they are entitled to.

Shirley-Anne Somerville, MSP