Letters: Leith Walk is becoming a dangerous place to live

Your report last week about a violent racially-motivated attack on Leith Walk drew attention to what seems to be a growing problem in the area.

While, thankfully, assaults as severe as the two highlighted in the article are rare, the streets are increasingly feeling unsafe, whatever the time of day or night.

As residents in the area, our weekends are peppered with other people's conflicts and indeed my partner witnessed the large gang of men and the assault outside City Limits on returning from a shop.

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Last weekend alone, we had to put up with three drunken fights in the early hours of Saturday morning, a domestic incident involving children at 9am on Saturday morning and one resident having their car badly vandalised.

While Leith has many things in its favour, the increasing antisocial behaviour and outright criminality is certainly making me question whether it's a part of Edinburgh that I want to live in long term.

Jacq Kelly, Leith

Prison TVs are conning taxpayer

YOUR story "Jails' plan for 'green' TVs is big turn-off for taxpayers" (News, November 12) made me very angry.

For prison bosses to spend 480,000 on what is a luxury item for people who have been imprisoned for wrongdoing seems to me like a criminal act.

We can't afford new schools for our children, yet somehow we can gift hi-tech TVs to offenders. Come again?

On a visit to a dump recently I saw many television sets that looked almost new – a consequence of people buying into the marketing con that they need a new one every couple of years because of some "essential" new component.

Why not give these old TVs to prisons, where inmates could be shown how to repair them and upgrade them where necessary.

This would save money and teach prisoners useful skills which could help them to find work on their release.

Ken Welsh, Easter Road, Edinburgh

Planners have left our Capital in ruins

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WHAT a contrast. You report that Edinburgh citizens are proud of their city – which is true – and then we see the very things that make Edinburgh attractive ruined by ugly and insensitive modern buildings.

The proposal for the demolition and rebuild at the Canonmills bridge just scraped through planning. Is it not ridiculous that drastic changes to Edinburgh can be made by a seven against six decision?

An attractive, sympathetic, ancient row of buildings is to be demolished and replaced by something totally out of keeping with the whole area. In Germany they are replacing ugly modern buildings with sympathetic old-style ones in conservation areas. Why can't Edinburgh planners do the same?

Averil and Ian McHaffie, Granton Road, Edinburgh

Independence not answer to our ills

SO the answer to all Scotland's problems, according to Jim Taylor (Interactive, 11 November), is simple – independence.

Well, I for one, given the shambles the Scottish Parliament has created thus far, shake to the core at the very thought of handing more power to the lunatics that are running the asylum. It would be akin to putting children in charge of a sweet shop.

Mr Taylor suggests that higher taxes would be worth the investment to put Mr Miliband's gas at a peep. I do not agree that many would be happy to pay higher taxes, but also feel that would be the least of the problems we would incur.

Sheila Fraser, Beveridge Close, Dalkeith

Right that the sun shines on George

I WRITE to congratulate Dr George Kerr on being awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to judo.

Dr Kerr, of Edinburgh, is one of a select number of athletes in the world to be a 10 Dan in judo and at 73 remains an immensely inspirational figure.

Mike Corbett, chief executive, The Scottish Salmon Company