Letters: It’s time to clear the air over Seafield stench failure

Scottish Water and Councillor Robert Aldridge both maintain that the return of the Seafield stench does not represent a failure of the £20 million Odour Improvement Plan (News, March 5).

However, on the Scottish Water website it states that the plan is failing so badly that it needs emergency support from imported machinery to stop the smells from escaping into the community:-

“Through daily monitoring of the inflow conditions to Seafield, Veolia Water have measured a progressive but marked increase in loading and hence sludge production. This increase has reached a stage where it has become necessary, in order to maintain . . . odour performance, to operate an additional mobile centrifuge to reduce the volume of sludge on site.”

I think we are all entitled to know which of these statements is true and which has the same consistency as the effluence entering the plant.

Rob Kirkwood, Leith Links Residents Association


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Standing alone is not a fantasy

I DISAGREE with Donald McBride’s claim that the idea of an independent Scotland is somehow a ‘fantasy world’ (Letters, March 5).

As a self-standing country we would have a vast array of natural resources including oil, water and untapped renewable energy potential, whisky and technology, whilst our successful tourist industry hosts the largest arts festival held anywhere in the world every single year. These are things that any nation would regard as golden opportunities to use to make life better and happier for those living in their countries, whereas Mr McBride sees them only as a problem.

I have grown up listening to London politicians telling me that the oil was about to run out almost as soon as it was first discovered in the 1970s.


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Funnily enough more is discovered every year, which means we still have the chance in the 2014 referndum to rid ourselves of the tag of being the only country in the world to have discovered oil and become poorer as a result.

Scotland can do a lot better than that, Mr McBride.

Gavin Fleming, Webster’s Land, Grassmarket, Edinburgh

Make it a straight ‘yes’ or ‘no’ vote


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THE answer that should be on the ballot paper for the vote on the Scottish independence referendum need only be a “yes” or “no”. What could be clearer than that?

However, as “Devo max” has entered the fray, this would require a second ballot paper because they are two separate constitutional matters.

The challenge facing us is not whether it is a simple matter of a a fair or unfair vote, because all voting systems have their faults. What is important is the challenge facing us.

An electoral system must meet two democratic criteria.


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It needs to reflect opinion, but it must be an aggregate opinion, without giving a disproportionate influence to splinter groups.

Aggregation is important for the Scottish Parliament, whose job it is to create an unbiased and properly constituted ballot paper which requires a simple, straightforward “yes” or “no” selection.

But nevertheless, the voting system we have at the moment is watered down because many votes end up not being counted.

Chas Dennis, Niddrie Marischal Road, Edinburgh


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Landmark passed in fuel campaign

LAST Saturday, Scottish Socialist Party activists in Edinburgh passed a landmark in campaigning against the increased cost of gas and electricity when they received the 100,000th signature on our petition calling for government action to eradicate fuel poverty in Scotland.

According to the government, hundreds of thousands of households in Scotland are now living in fuel poverty.

Gas and electricity bills have doubled in the last five years, with the average annual cost now £1300.


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Professor John Hills of the London School of Economics, in a report commissioned last year by the Westminster government, concluded that 2700 people in the UK would die this winter of cold-related diseases.

Scottish Socialist Party activists will continue campaigning until the legal right to affordable fuel inherent in the Warm Home and Energy Conservation Act passed in 2000 is secured for everyone.

Paul Jordan, Scottish Socialist Party, Oxgangs Avenue, Edinburgh