Letters: City must do something to clean up bog awful toilets

I HAD to write concerning the disgusting state of the toilets in the Middle Meadow Walk at the top of Lauriston Place.

I was out with my grandchildren in the Meadows when they said they needed the toilet. I took them to the gents and was shocked at what I saw.

There were broken toilet seats in cubicles, empty needle packets and empty condom boxes, plus used condoms, lying about.

Not to mention the disgusting scenes at the urinals.

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No child should have to witness this. My grandchildren were aged eight and ten years old.

On top of all this, a man and a woman came out of the cubicle next to the one we used.

While I realise there is a lot of work going on at the Quartermile housing development, I would hope the council takes action on those toilets and closes them down immediately as they were in a disgusting state and also stank of stale wine.

It was not a place to take children into.

Outside the toilets were dropouts, sitting around brazenly taking drugs and drinking goodness knows what.

I sincerely hope that the council will read this and stern action will be taken. Close the toilets down.

Eric H. Cleland, Easter Haugh, Edinburgh

We must allow Murray to inspire

ANDY MURRAY'S performances at Wimbledon will no doubt inspire a generation of youngsters to pick up a tennis racket.

But if we're to produce players like him, we need to give them somewhere to practise.

Edinburgh has a wonderful tennis facility in the shape of Craiglockhart Tennis Centre. It has indoor hard courts made of the same surface used at the US Open, and there are both indoor and outdoor clay courts.

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Indeed, the venue hosts a world-ranking event each May which is attended by players rated amongst the top 500 in the world.

However, for a member of the public to book a court, this can cost upwards of 20 per hour.

Courts at the Meadows and Inverleith Park are, of course, much cheaper and at some times free, but the quality of surface is in no way comparable to Craiglockhart.

Murray and his peers would say they spent many, many hours on court as youngsters honing their skills, and while they may have enjoyed financial backing, few are equally privileged.

It would be a step in the right direction if the council made such a fine facility much more accessible. Perhaps then this city would one day produce a few champions of its own.

L. M. Fullarton, Newhaven

Reform poll date is lacking respect

THE proposed intention to hold a referendum on the alternative voting system on the same day as the Scottish Parliamentary elections – 5 May, 2011 – beggars belief.

The referendum will also happen on the same day as the Welsh Assembly elections, and despite promoting a 'respect' agenda with the devolved administrations, the UK coalition government did not even consult with their counterparts in Edinburgh and Cardiff over these proposals.

Despite potential confusion, they are quite happy to simply piggyback on the back of these elections, potentially diluting their significance.

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The London parties seem quite prepared to have a referendum on a voting system they don't really support, are happy to give the Welsh a vote on increased powers for the Assembly, but will not allow the Scots a referendum over their nation's constitutional future.

Alex Orr, Bryson Road, Edinburgh

Wasting cash with double standards

HOLYROOD had been debating the Justice Bill and the BBC has been screening a programme called How to Build a Nuclear Submarine.

Nuclear weapons are illegal and horrendously costly. Neither are they useful in preventing conflict. The parties banging the justice drum are also responsible for sanctioning the horrendous waste of money on Trident.

Andrew J. T. Kerr, Castlegate, Jedburgh