Letters: Early opening for pubs will only encourage drunken yobs

I WOULD like to thank you, Evening News, for telling it as it is, especially when you give front page publicity to such controversial matters as "Pubs bid for 8am Sunday opening" (3rd April).

It is, of course, understandable that owners of licensed premises will wish to campaign for additional opening hours to boost their trade. But to me, it seems that Scotland is on a downward path.

We are concerned about the binge drinking trend, especially among young and under-age drinkers, in this country. Combine drinking with football and rugby matches, and we have a recipe for disaster and crime, leading to court appearances.

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The request for early Sunday drinking would lead to an even lower standard of morality in Scotland. It is to be hoped that the City Licensing Authority will rule this request completely "offside".

Donald Jack, Summerside Place, Leith

Time Lord could be election saviour

Before the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, Gordon Brown said that we had only 55 days to save the planet.

Well we are still here.

On Saturday 3 April the new Doctor Who saved the world in 20 minutes.

Can we persuade The Doctor to stand against Brown in May and thus save Britain from further disasters?

Clark Cross, Springfield Road Linlithgow

Public services will pay for NI increase

THE proposed increase in National Insurance contributions is quite rightly seen as a tax on jobs, threatening economic recovery at a time businesses need all the help they can get.

What, however, has been overlooked is that this tax hike represents an indiscriminate attack on frontline public services, forcing them to make budget cuts.

The NHS and other public sector organisations will not get extra funds to cope with the increased contributions they will have to make as major employers, and services or staff will have to be cut to meet higher tax bills.

Business leaders recently attacked the National Insurance rise, but it is a rise that will hit not only employers and employees hard, but also schools, hospitals and the whole public sector.

Alex Orr, Bryson Road, Edinburgh

Put guilty faces on the side of trams

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I READ with interest about a plan to emblazon the trams with the names of local celebrities. This is presumably a further attempt to distract our attention from the traffic chaos, delays & cost overruns.

It seems to me a shame to sully the likes of Ian Rankin's name by associating them with this. Instead, we should put the names of those who are responsible for the disaster on the side of the trams. That way, the long suffering citizens of Edinburgh would be reminded of who is to blame.

To be honest, I'm not sure who is actually responsible for this fiasco. Who approved the business case for the project? Does anyone even know the name of anyone at TIE? Perhaps there could also be photographs? Perhaps there could be council-funded boxes of rotting fruit at the foot of the Mound to lob at them.

Ken Murray, Briarbank Terrace, Edinburgh

Pupils getting less with Futures Trust

Despite the protestations of both the Cabinet Secretary for Health and the Chief Executive of the Scottish Futures Trust (Letters, 23rd March) the simple fact remains that the SNP's Futures Trust has failed to yet deliver a single school or a single hospital.

In their 2007 manifesto the SNP promised to match Labour's school and hospital building commitments 'brick for brick', yet here in Edinburgh only one school has been commissioned by the SNP Government in three years. That is in contrast to over 30 between 1999-2007 under Labour. Parents at Boroughmuir High School and elsewhere in the city are rightly angered at the lack of progress and see the SFT as an abject failure.

As Barry White of the SFT stated "getting more for less is absolutely critical", and I agree that this is especially true in these testing economic times. Yet parents, pupils and patients are simply having to settle for less under the SNP.

Cllr Paul Godzik, Labour Councillor for Meadows Morningside

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