Letters: Doomed tram project must be terminated right away

TRAM project boss Richard Jeffrey arrived at TIE in May 2009 and since then we have been asked to believe that he had a "misplaced belief" that the contracts were sound.

Your article "Flawed deal meant that TIE boss was on a hiding to nothing" (News, May 20) states that "a series of adjudications with Bilfinger Berger were costly and time-consuming, losing nearly every one".

Why then have he and transport convener Councillor Gordon Mackenzie maintained that the project was on time and on budget, and why did the outgoing chairman maintain a stance of blaming the contractors for what was by the time he left a completely diametric stance to the truth?

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Who gave Messrs Mackenzie and Jeffrey the authority to take this stance?

Did other members of the TIE board know these facts?

And why did the Labour, Lib Dem and Conservative councillor directors not speak up?

Who within the council's paid officials had knowledge of this, and how widely known was it that these contracts were fundamentally flawed?

It is obvious that this project is out of control, badly served by government, full-time officials, certain councillors and by Mr Jeffrey and the departed chairman.

The decision to terminate is obviously the right one. That would allow a public inquiry to take place to determine exactly who is to blame.

John R T Carson, Kirkliston Road, South Queensferry

Sick workers are not all slackers

I READ with great interest your article about NHS staff taking sickies and being hunted down by HR director Alan Boyter (News, May 19).

I am one of these stats.

When I started with the NHS I did not realise how hard worked all the staff were, and I found out during the seven years I worked there.

No-one has asked why the sickness was so high with some of the staff. In my third year in working in the NHS I was attacked by a patient.

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This left me traumatised and I was off for a long period, during which I was sent for occupational health, and I had to be moved to another department.

Around the fifth year of working I slipped on a roller chair and trapped and badly damaged my hand and attended the physio to try to get back to work as soon as possible.

In my last year with the NHS, I was sent to occupational health. It was agreed that my health was being affected, and it was put forward that I should only be on two nights a week and varied weekends off.

This was put forward but not adhered to. I recently got put in front of a hearing which my Unison representative knew was pre-determined, that I was going to be sacked.

All cases of sickness are put to a private panel and they only look at the stats of sickness, and not the reasons why they are so high.

Clinical support worker, Edinburgh

SNP's promises will cost a fortune

ONCE we get independence, we will need to raise taxes to pay for all that the SNP has promised, it is a gamble that could come off as long as raising taxes does not put off investors coming into Scotland.

But we must not lose sight of the fact that we will inherit part of the national debt, so we start off with an overdraft of trillions, with millions in overdraft charges.

JE Fraser, Cockburn Street, Edinburgh

That's no way to run a marathon

I HAVE just come from the marathon where my friends were running.

The organisation was dreadful.

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We were directed to Pinkie Park as we weren't allowed to see my friend at the finish.

There was a big screen to see the runners finish but it was broken.

So we went to see the runners walk up the road from the finish that we were told all the runners had to come up. But then the barriers were covered so we couldn't even see my friends there.

There were a lot of unhappy people there.

Andrew Binnie, Mountcastle Drive North, Edinburgh