Letters: This desperate cash-raising idea is complete rubbish

THE Capital’s citizens would no doubt welcome additional measures to discourage street littering.

But the latest ruse from the corridors of power (Invasion of the litter wardens, News, September 15) looks like a desperate revenue-raising scam by a council which is squandering the best part of a billion pounds of our money on a disastrous tram scheme, and which has defaced our once beautiful city more than even the most dedicated litter lout could hope to manage over several lifetimes.

We may, on occasion, have too much rubbish on our streets, but this doesn’t mean we have buttons up the back of our heads. Besides, this latest synthetic initiative to part the citizenry from its money may not be easy to administer.

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How, for example, are the city’s uniformed operatives meant to serve a fixed penalty notice on a seagull which had the bad grace to scatter refuse from a shredded bin bag which the council’s rubbish lorries have failed to pick up?

I can only imagine these people would tax the air we breathe if they thought they could get away with it.

David J Black, St Giles Street, Edinburgh

Council’s threats are failing school

The Edinburgh Association of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) condemns the potential closure of Castlebrae Community High School (CCHS).

One of the main reasons Castlebrae’s roll and attainment figures are falling is because of the council’s continued threats of closure over the years and, over the past decade, its failure to keep the promises of building a new school. Moreover, continued lack of investment in the resources required to meet the needs of the pupils in this area have condemned the school to “death by a thousand cuts” since 2008.

Regarding attainment, it seems that no-one is prepared to comment on the percentage of pupils from the cluster primaries who come to CCHS from increasingly challenging backgrounds, including some from pockets of severe deprivation. Research consistently demonstrates the impact of poverty on children’s education, as Castlebrae and its teachers can attest from first-hand experience.

Unfortunately and unforgivably, Edinburgh City Council’s position does not take into account the dedication and commitment of all the staff at CCHS who work tirelessly to engage pupils in the curriculum and in widening their achievements.

Alison Thornton, secretary, Edinburgh EIS Local Association, Edinburgh

Numbers tell the truth about plan

I REFER to comments in “Proposals would help area to evolve” (Letters, September 14) concerning work being done by the Save Stockbridge group.

We are most certainly not a “small minority of activists”. We are a rapidly-expanding team of local residents and retailers concerned at the size and inappropriate nature of the planned development on the open land in Raeburn Place.

The plans are expected to include 19,000 square feet of retail space (the equivalent of 30 average-sized Stockbridge shops or four Scotmids) and a further 10,000sq ft of bar and catering outlets. In addition, there would be a huge stadium seating 2500 people and standing area for another 2500. An amateur rugby team whose crowds are in the very low hundreds do not need this size of stadium. By anyone’s standards this is a massive development.

Save Stockbridge has more than 1300 signatures on a petition opposing this development. The developer, on the other hand, has 61 signatures from their consultation, stating they were either “completely or majority” in favour of the development. The numbers don’t lie.

Bruce Thompson, chairman, Save Stockbridge, Comely Bank Place, Edinburgh

Invest in sport or we lose the race

While many parts of the country bask in the glory of a golden Olympics and Paralympics with joyful homecomings and lavish victory parades, it should be remembered that most of this success may not have been possible without serious financial investment from organisations such as the National Lottery.

If Edinburgh wants to continue producing sports champions of the future there has to be substantial investment in facilities like Meadowbank and the velodrome otherwise the level of excellence witnessed at the London Games will decline.

Angus McGregor, Albion Road, Edinburgh