Letters: A joint campus is the best solution to school problem

ABOVE all the arguments over the redevelopment of Castlebrae and Portobello high schools, what it is important is the need to have an education system that aspires to modern standards in the east Edinburgh area and perhaps beyond.

The aim should be an integrated comprehensive education system that equips our schools and our children to live in a highly diverse world, providing young people with the knowledge, skills and understanding to be active citizens for the future at local and national level.

There is a great deal of disparity within east Edinburgh, where we have some entrenched patterns of under-achievement and inequality.

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So to this end I believe it is imperative that the redevelopment of Castlebrae and Portobello high schools should be built on a purpose-built joint campus.

Chas Dennis, Niddrie Marischal Road, Edinburgh

Double-parkers are a menace

It is absurd that people are appealing against fines given to them for double-parking in Edinburgh streets, on a technicality (News, December 4).

People who double-park, or park illegally are a menace, and are utterly selfish, and can cause huge problems for emergency vehicles and house owners. They deserve complete condemnation!

AA Miller, Clackmae Road, Edinburgh

Different rules for politicians

WHILE our politicians at Holyrood and Westminster batter us with spending cuts and tell us it is to get our economy back on track, it has been revealed that expenses claims are as high as ever.

So, the bottom line of the catchphrase “We are all in this together” actually means that there is one set of rules for us, and another set of rules for our greedy, shameless, conscience-free politicians.

Alan Lough, Borrowdales, Dunbar, East Lothian

So, where is this palace, exactly?

WHILE driving through Holyrood Park, my car developed a fault. Luckily I was not far from the car park next to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and I was able to gently guide my vehicle to safety.

I phoned my insurer as I have a recovery service on my policy. I explained what had happened and the girl on the phone told me a recovery truck would be sent within an hour to tow my car to a garage for repairs. Good, I thought, all is going well.

Then the girl asked me for the location of the vehicle, so I told her it was in the car park next to the palace.

I was stunned when she told me I needed to provide a postcode or street name. Sitting in my car on my own with only an old-style mobile phone and no maps, I had no access to such information.

You might know it, I suggested to the girl. It’s a great big palace in the middle of the city. The Royal Family use it as their Edinburgh home.

Still she insisted on an address or post code. I finally managed to persuade her that although she had no knowledge of one of our city’s tourist landmarks, the driver of the Edinburgh-based recovery vehicle would have no such problem.

This would be excusable if the girl was talking from a call centre in India, but she was based in Scotland.

Thank goodness the man in the rescue truck had a better idea of his surroundings.

Kenneth Welsh, Easter Road, Edinburgh

Sincere thanks for all efforts

On behalf of Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, sincere thanks to all of the many volunteers and supporters in Edinburgh who have contributed to the work of our charity in 2012.

CHSS is the only charity providing services throughout Scotland for people affected by chest, heart and stroke illness. During 2012 we were able to help more than 14,000 people through our advice line and patient information, support groups, financial grants, and our wide range of local services, which we provide throughout Edinburgh.

None of this would be possible without the contribution of our volunteers. Their work is absolutely vital in our local support groups, charity shops and other activities.

David H Clark, chief executive, Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, Rosebery House, Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh