The relationship between Edinburgh’s citizens and its council is poor and getting worse. Evidence of this is seen daily in the ways in which it reneges on things that are its responsibility as part of the provision of services listed under the council tax.
The council administration appears to be unequal to the task of running the city. And it’s getting worse. There is no need for empty pledges or pointless slogans; what is needed is an intelligent, considered expenditure of our money where we need support.
Basically the deal with the council is that in return for our payments and civic obedience they should at a minimum:
• Collect our many different rubbish bags on time which puzzlingly seems to be harder now that collections are less frequent (my food one has been out for three days as I write);
• Commit to use the extra income from parking charges to properly maintain the city’s pot-holed roads that wouldn’t look out of place in a Third World country;
• Grit the roads and pavements before the snow falls;
• Produce a set of honest answers about the tram fiasco;
• Come clean about the murky and potentially criminal goings-on surrounding the issue of statutory notices and maintenance contracts.
We who live here have nowhere where we can voice our frustration and get a cogent and satisfactory reply in return. It is sad and shameful. And we deserve better.
Katie Reid, Braid Hills, Edinburgh
Time to work on fixing our streets
MY sister-in-law fell over a raised pavement and had to get a steel plate in her arm as she broke two bones.
The state of the pavement was reported five weeks ago. The streets are terrible and it’s about time the council listened to the people of our once beautiful city and fixing it instead of ruining it with trams.
M Anderson, Elliot Street, Edinburgh
Park and school could both exist
I AM responding to Stephen McIntyre’s letter (January 22). Portobello Park Action Group has always been clear it would prefer a brownfield/industrial site for the new school and that green space should be preserved.
What’s more, the council has not “formally agreed” to create a new park.
As part of its proposal to create legislation to circumvent the illegality of building on common good land, the council has proposed to replace the lost green space by returning the existing school site to a park – despite the fact it said in 2010 that it was not in the correct location to replace Portobello Park, and it was keen to sell it to generate a capital receipt.
Even more significant is that the proposed legislation to build on Portobello Park will contain no provision for the replacement green space.
The school will utilise almost all of the 6+ hectares of Portobello Park and only a very small grassy area will remain. There is no doubt that under the council proposals, Portobello would lose a significant area of open parkland.
Instead a new school could be provided on one of the alternative sites that the council has agreed as options and east Edinburgh could keep the park and have a new school.
Alison Connelly, Edinburgh
SNP short on the details yet again
Martin Hannan (News, January 22). He raises a very legitimate point about the fact that current insolvency law doesn’t protect consumers who have purchased vouchers, as was the case with HMV.
Sadly, however, Mr Hannan steps outside the realms of reality when he says that nothing would be done under a Labour Government as he states “That won’t happen with David Cameron’s Tories in charge for, like Labour, they are in bed with the bankers.” It is a quite ludicrous statement.
Mr Hannan says he hopes the SNP in a separate Scotland would introduce tough laws on corporate crime. But as usual, the SNP is long on rhetoric and short on details.
Neither Alex Salmond, nor Mr Hannan is able to give us that certainty. While the SNP focus on the constitution for the next two years, Labour will continue to fight for consumers.
Ian Murray, MP for Edinburgh South