Letters: Put councillors out to tender instead of refuse collections

SO, THE Tory councillor for Inverleith, Iain Whyte, wants the refuse collection market-tested, and put to open tender (Letters, 15 January).

Surprise, surprise. Putting to one side (which we shouldn't) the new unemployment this will create at a time of recession, and that subsequent drain on the national purse, the winning tender would, of course, be below anything that any in-house bid could match, and offer an impossibly high level of service, which they will then fail to deliver.

This is what inevitably happens when public services are left to the tender mercies of the private sector: they bid low, and deliver even lower... and the few-low paid jobs created never match up to those lost.

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I am fed up with private companies and councillors treating public funds as a sort of cash cow, whilst the CBI and Tories stand around cheering.

It is not the refuse collections that should be market-tested, but the councillors – is every council jaunt to sunnier climes really necessary?

We citizens can stand up for ourselves – identify your standing councillor at the next council election, and vote for somebody else!

I wonder how Councillor Whyte's local bin men will react to his letter in the News!

David Fiddimore, Calton Road, Edinburgh

Looks like port's ship is coming in

THE possible construction of a biomass power station at the Imperial Dock in the Port of Leith (News, 12 January) is exciting news and I hope that we will embrace this opportunity to bring real jobs into the area and that this will also act as a springboard to Leith remaining a working port.

In addition, this development will also help to preserve the last railway link into the area.

My generation, and our politicians, have stood back and allowed the city's traditional industries to be closed or lured elsewhere to obtain grant money. We have even said nothing when the Scottish government has transferred jobs out of the city.

However, I hope we can now take the chance to reverse this, and attract the biomass station and also the new wind-power activities in the Forth. With the new office, shopping, leisure and cruise-liner activities, there is now a chance of keeping the port alive with a mixed economy that was formerly the great strength of the city.

David Speed, Stair Park, Edinburgh

Warm hearts made up for charity theft

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I WOULD like to take this opportunity to thank the kind-hearted and decent people of Leith. Shortly before Christmas, the charity I work for was a victim of theft. We were wrapping presents for donations at Ocean Terminal when we noticed one of our collection jars was missing – we estimate there could have been up to 200 in it.

The police we dealt with went above and beyond the call of duty trying to find the jar. Their efforts must be applauded. We must also thank Debenhams in Ocean Terminal who kindly donated 150 after hearing our story.

These acts of kindness were particularly heart-warming after the extreme disappointment that was caused by the jar being stolen. One woman even visited the centre and handed in a donation of 20.

In total we raised over 1,600 which will go towards providing relief for our 200-plus members attending the centre who suffer from MS, as well as a range of other conditions.

Gordon MacRae, director, MSTC Lothian, Edinburgh

Little support for giant structures

RM Stevenson in his letter (14 January) re structures for overhead tram wires has got it wrong. These monstrous supports are for the erection of giant screens to prevent tourists from taking photographs of Edinburgh Castle from Princes Street. On the other hand they might well be gibbets for those responsible for bringing us trams in the first place!

Brian Farish, Baird Grove, Edinburgh

Not worth leaflet it is printed on

THE latest Lib Dem election leaflet carries the banner "Save local Jobs". Edinburgh is well known for its printing expertise.

This election leaflet, however, is printed in Plymouth!

Colin C Maclean, Hillpark Avenue, Edinburgh