Letters: Please can we have our Commonwealth Pool back?

HOW long is it going to take before the Commonwealth Pool opens its doors to the public again?

We see stadiums, velodromes, Olympic swimming pools, huge urban parks and so on being built and completed in London in the time it takes to alter a swimming pool in Edinburgh in an already existing building.

Thousands of people, young and old, have been denied this facility for at least two summers. I think this is an absolute disgrace.

I Munro, Priestfield Road, Edinburgh

Facilities are key to sports success

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MICHAEL Cavanagh, the chair of Commonwealth Games Scotland, is surely quite wrong when he attributes Edinburgh's historical Olympic success to the high level of private schools (News, July 29).

Glamorgan in Wales came above Edinburgh in the league and I am not aware of it having anything like the level of private education that Edinburgh has.

Much of Edinburgh's success is down to Sir Chris Hoy's remarkable medals haul.

Mr Hoy happens to have gone to a private school in Edinburgh but that, surely, is as unimportant as English cyclist, Bradley Wiggins, having gone to a state school. Equal luminaries in the cycling world such as Glasgow's Robert Millar or Ayrshire's Graeme Obree seem to have had success without going to private school.

The real issue is about facilities. Where athletes are given access to the right facilities, training and coaching they prosper, wherever these are located.

To the extent that some private institutions have continued to invest in such facilities is no more than a wake-up call for all children and young people to have access to the support they need.

Only by drawing on the widest possible pool of talent will Scotland rediscover a sporting culture and nurture the Olympians of the future.

Gavin Corbett, Briarbank Terrace, Edinburgh

Library staff take roles seriously

IT was disappointing to read Gina Davidson's opinion piece "Librarians can't be bookkeepers" (News, July 28).

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The National Library of Scotland is recognised as one of the world's leading libraries, bringing much prestige to Scotland and Edinburgh. National bodies such as NLS are cultural and research organisations but must also have a commercial dimension - without which we would not have been able to acquire the John Murray Archive, which Ms Davidson refers to so positively, or successfully shed the daunting former image of the library, which she also criticises so strongly.

Developing NLS for the 21st century, in particular providing digital access, has been crucial in order that everyone can access the library's collections. Last year, we welcomed more than 150,000 visitors to the library and more than 10,000 people are now registered users of our online services. Contrary to what Ms Davidson says in her article the cafe and shop are not losing money.I would like to assure Ms Davidson - and more importantly your readers - that the trustees and senior staff of NLS take their responsibilities seriously and each year review and strengthen financial controls.

Nobody in NLS is allowed to sign off their own expenses. Unfortunately no organisation - whether in the public or private sector - is immune from determined criminal activity.

In the case of David Dinham this was a sophisticated crime committed by a trusted senior manager and budget holder who used his detailed knowledge to carry out complex frauds, including forgery.

Martyn Wade, National Librarian and Chief Executive, National Library of Scotland

City should get its act together

I RECENTLY spent six days in your city walking and exploring.

Well, what a shock - a beautiful city that looks completely uncared for. There is a lack of rubbish bins and few facilities for the thousands of tourists.

Please get your act together.

A Benjamin, Fremantle, Western Australia