Letters: With cash handout, it’s just as if an election was coming

THE city council must think parents were born yesterday to be fooled by the “extra money” for schools (News, February 8).

So much of the last four years has been spent in battles over budget cuts. Twice in those four years I have worked with parents from schools across Edinburgh to compile a dossier of the consequences of cuts to education.

We’ve pointed out the long-term costs of slashing budgets, of neglecting maintenance, failing to upgrade equipment and skimping on materials.

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And now the city council tells us that there is extra money to clear half of the £7 million backlog of repairs in schools: a backlog built up under the council’s watch! How much cheaper would the repairs have been if they had been done at the time they emerged?

Sorry, folks. I know there is an election in three months. But this really does not wash.

Gavin Corbett, Briarbank Terrace, Edinburgh

Deli deal leaves bitter aftertaste

THERE is disquiet amongst residents and shopkeepers regarding the news that Sainsbury’s will now take over from Peckham’s after months of rumour and counter-rumour, when Peckham’s staff constantly denied this was the case (News, February 6).

We fail to see how this has not percolated through to Sainsbury’s agents, but can only surmise that Peckham’s wished to keep opposition secret for fear it might jeopardise their deal. If this is the case, the community feels badly let down by Peckham’s.

Surely an independent trader retailing speciality foods or organic produce could have been found? Or perhaps a local food co-operative such as the Shandon Food Group?

Several petitions have now gathered thousands of signatures and a meeting was held recently with the local MP, Ian Murray, as to how we can stop Sainsbury’s coming to Bruntsfield. This opposition has united all sectors – young and old.

We feel we have a unique shopping environment which preserves diversity and supports independent local traders. Sainsbury’s will not be welcome if it seeks to compete with this and destroys Bruntsfield’s traditional character.

Dr Mairianna Clyde, chair, Merchiston Community Council

My holiday hopes halted by trams

ALL packed and ready for our first holiday together, my one- year-old daughter and I set off for the 22 bus to Waverley.

This usually only takes us 15 minutes. We were due to get our train at 10am, so we made sure we left in plenty of time. Nearly an hour later we finally made it to the train station.

Due to the tram works most of the way along our bus journey we were held up several times, which made us miss our train and we weren’t allowed to get another without paying more money!

I blame our lateness for the train fully on the tram works, they are a total waste of time and money. Not only are they ruining the city so far with the disruption, they are slowly ruining people’s lives.

Mine for one, I was really looking forward to my first holiday away with my daughter. I’m a single mum and was lucky to get the tickets that we did but we were asked to pay a further £60 just for the next available seat.

Carrying around a sleeping baby and three bags, we were left with nothing. No hope for a holiday, or even a refund on the tickets. It’s a joke!

Susannah Scott, Edinburgh

City traffic is an absolute choke

HOW deluded is Councillor Hinds (Letters, February 8)?

The element of traffic congestion not down to trams works is due in large part to the programme of “traffic calming” and road stoppages, endless one-ways and pointless rerouting of traffic which previously dispersed in a natural way. This has created a nightmare of needless congestion and choke points, with the city gridlocked.

It’s simply impossible to cross the city in any sensible way, with east-west or even north-south being just so hard as to be near impractical.

As a young man, one of the great pleasures as a driver was that Edinburgh could be accessed so easily, with any place in the city being an easy 15 to 20-minute jaunt through gorgeous open 18th century streets, wide enough to allow parking for residents and let the traffic flow.

John Byrn, Seventh St, Newtongrange