Let's see dawn of a bright new era for Portobello

OVER the next few months Edinburgh councillors will be making some key decisions that will significantly enhance or potentially destroy Portobello.

I would like to ask them what they want to be remembered for.

Listening to the community and using their common sense for the good of the town or being "influenced" by "professional" lobbyists and political bigwigs driving their own agenda.

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Two potential futures for Portobello – you decide – it will be your legacy either way!

Lonely Planet article, 2012

Portobello – A thriving town, expanded sensitively with new buildings that improve the overall surroundings. The modern school, with superb sports facilities onsite, not only provides a superb education to the local children but also acts as a focal point for its community. The improved waterfront promenade makes it a real asset to Edinburgh as a whole. If you like the outdoor life it's the place to visit.


Portobello – A sad, rundown backwater which Edinburgh has abandoned.

The decrepit school buildings, badly planned high density housing and Scotland's largest residential waste site have combined to make this former seaside town one of Edinburgh's most unattractive locations. You have to wonder what the citizens of Portobello did to deserve such treatment.

Avoid at all costs.

Peter Bradley, Brighton Crescent West, Portobello

Police are too busy to combat crime

ON Thursday a reader from Linlithgow wrote to you.

This person reported that yobs were throwing buckets of water out of an upstairs flat and drenching the pedestrians including several old people who were left shaken and upset.

This person was angry at the inaction and couldn't-care-less attitude of the police since no-one had bothered to come to their house. Did they expect the police to actually combat crime?

No, no, you have got it all wrong. The police are not there to fight crime, they are there to fudge, sorry compile statistics to prove that crime is going down.

Form-filling is essential, and the longer it takes then less time on the dangerous streets.

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When did you last see a policeman in the High Street other than at the Marches?

The police are too busy attending equality, political correctness and multicultural diversity indoctrination seminars where they are brainwashed, sorry instructed on how to pander to specific groups.

These seminars are popular since an intimate knowledge of equality, PC, diversity and sexualities puts the officers on the fast track to promotion whilst the real policemen who actually catch criminals are left behind.

You can see how busy the police are, so you had better beware or you will be charged with wasting police time.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

Costly diesel is the nation's lifeblood

THE rising price of oil on the world market during the last two years has meant that we have all suffered. Very bad news for car drivers commuting to work, doing the shopping or getting about. But dire for operators of lorries and vans who need to move their goods as part of their business.

And worst of all for hauliers, whose entire business is to move other people's goods. Fuel now represents almost 40 per cent of their total operating costs. Bulk diesel prices have risen from 76p per litre last May up to 106p per litre today – a 40 per cent increase in just twelve months.

Diesel is the lifeblood of the economy. If you've got it then it has almost certainly been inside the back of a lorry. Everything in the supermarkets, everything in the high street, the bricks that build our homes and the beer that stocks our pubs. You name it and it's the product of a lorry journey. You may not like the lorry, but it's the lorry that delivers everything you need.

Sadly, the problems caused by a rising world price for oil are compounded in the UK by our ultra-high tax regime. Duty on diesel is 50p per litre compared to a European average of 25p. A single 40-tonne lorry, doing around seven miles to the gallon, now faces an annual fuel bill of between 40,000 and 45,000. One vehicle, 45,000 per year for diesel, of which over 21,000 is tax.

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The price of diesel, and the tax paid on it, impacts on the whole population. It is an ingredient in the price of everything. That is why it is so important for the Government to change its tax strategy and reduce the level of duty paid by commercial vehicle operators. Not just for the benefit of those operators, but for all of us as consumers. High diesel prices stoke inflation.

Gavin Scott, head of policy – Scotland, Freight Transport Association, Melville Terrace, Stirling

Oh Brother, what an embarrassment

I COULDN'T believe I saw a picture in the News of Dennis McHugh, Edinburgh's contribution to the latest gathering of desperate attention seekers that is the latest incarnation of Big Brother.

His mother has apparently said she hopes he "does Scotland proud". Only a mum could say that.

Writers, explorers, inventors are people to be proud of. Those who "live for attention" are not.

Mr T White, London Road, Edinburgh

Precious pets are sad loss to owners

I HAVE been appalled and saddened by the various animal cruelty stories of late and I wonder what on earth possesses these hard-of-thinking morons! And as for the slap-on-the-wrist penalties – good grief!

I lost my precious dog almost three years ago and I have never been the same since. I know I'll never be really properly happy until I'm reunited with my dog.

Dogs give love quite without our being deserving. Joni Mitchell sang "You never know what you've got till it's gone" and that's so true.

M McCormack, Gilmerton Dykes Crescent, Edinburgh