Letters: Battle will go on against furtive park land scheme

IN her letter (December 16) Jackie Brock makes the building of a new Portobello High School, on our local park, a "done deal", backed by cheering villagers. Nothing is further from the truth.

The original reason for replacing the school was to sell off the land for development and to plonk the new school on a plot of land that would cost nothing.

It was reckoned originally that the cost would be met through a costly "PFI" type scheme.

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Now the council and its tiny band of supporters in Portobello seek to put the school on Portobello Park; a tract of Common Good Land.

The council has said that it has a legal opinion to the effect that this obstacle can be ignored. It is more than reluctant to show the local objectors (ie the vast majority of our residents) this "document".

This is a pity because we also have legal advice that the council cannot just snaffle this much used area. It is a pity that the council has refused to divulge their confidential document although we, as council tax payers, paid for this advice).

Over 3000 people have signed a petition against this undemocratic and furtive scheme which will rob us of a golf course, a park and playing fields.

This will be opposed and defeated as was an earlier ill-conceived plan to put a vast superstore in Portobello. Will the council never learn?

Dickie Alexander, former park ranger of Portobello Park, Marlborough Street, Edinburgh

Costing for repairs shows commitment

IT finally looks as though Portobello High School will be rebuilt and I look forward to the time where the excellent staff at Portobello High can read in the Edinburgh Evening News about their first-rate educational facility, rather than the more recent headlines they have had to endure.

The council came to a decision by taking the politics out of the process and relying on a report on condition and suitability of the schools. Sadly only one school is being rebuilt, but I hope finance will become available soon to resolve this and that the other schools can be rebuilt in the not too distant future.

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I also commend the commitment shown to the Wave Three schools by openly identifying and costing the repairs required for Portobello High, Gillespie's, St John's, Boroughmuir and St Crispin's.

It will be difficult for the council to action these repairs, as it will take a considerable sum of money due to the years of neglect they inherited.

However, even in the current financial climate the council seem to have acknowledged we cannot afford to let our school buildings deteriorate.

William Wilson, Portobello High Street

Don't be a heel, give Blair the boot

BLIMEY, Tony Blair had better watch himself because if this "shoe-chucking at known war criminals" fad really takes off our esteemed ex-PM might land up in A&E before too long!

To anyone who's fed up/bored with 'Iraq' please remember the friends and relatives of all those UK service personnel who have unnecessarily died in a war which is still illegal and in a country where weapons of mass destruction still have not been found.

I'll only move on when TB finally 'fesses up' to lying to Parliament and us in order to justify military action back in the spring of 2003. Meanwhile, keep chucking those size-ten shoes folks!

Mr Korstiaan Allan, Whitingford, Edinburgh

So, when is a rat run not a rat run?

CAN anyone please explain what criteria are used to determine which areas can have rat runs closed and others to remain open? I live in Parkhead and we have a rat run from Calder Road down to Murrayburn Road which passes very close to a primary school, this road is narrow and frequently gridlocked when there is an accident on the bypass. Why is it possible to have the rat runs in Broomhouse, Saughton and Stenhouse closed and this one remains open?

Alex Robertson, Parkhead Drive, Edinburgh

Helping out heart failure patients

I WOULD like to correct your report 'Suzanne aims to get to the heart of our cardiac issues', (Evening News, December 15).

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Suzanne Bell is not the Lothians' first dedicated heart nurse. She is the first nurse to work as a Heart Failure Nurse Educator in the Lothians, and works with GP surgeries and community nurses to raise awareness of heart failure and ensure speedy diagnosis and treatment.

Your article states that "around 6000 people in the Lothians are thought to be suffering from heart trouble".

In fact, almost 24,500 people in the Lothians are living with coronary heart disease.

Heart failure is a debilitating and frightening condition and there are over 1000 new cases reported each year in Edinburgh and the Lothians – one of the highest rates in Scotland.

British Heart Foundation Scotland is asking the people of Edinburgh and the Lothians to help us raise 120,000 to provide the Heart Failure Nurse Educator role.

Fundraising has begun and, happily, Suzanne is already working to improve the lives of people with heart failure.

Ffyonna Scott, British Heart Foundation Scotland, Ocean Drive, Edinburgh