Letters: Save our city by dumping high-earning executives

THIS city is in an awful mess, both visually and financially. There are various investigations into certain departments, the utter shambles of the trams and what seems to be the unaccountability of many senior officials.

All this has gone on whilst we employ a chief executive and numerous directors. All these individuals receive salaries around that of the Prime Minister.

With the city being in the state it is and with these individuals in charge, is it not time to consider doing away with these posts?

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Maybe it is something the new administration could evaluate after next May’s elections.

These people are a financial drain on the city coffers and are failing to justify their jobs and salaries.

By doing away with these posts and their support staff, it could save the council a few million pounds each year.

These people have taken much and given very little back to the taxpayer.

David Black, Kenmure Avenue, Edinburgh

Pavement repair can’t be justified

WOULD somebody in the council’s roads department please explain why in these times of austerity they have decided to widen the pavement at Seafield opposite the McDonald’s? The pavement in this area must have one of the lowest footfalls of any road in Edinburgh, so how on earth can the cost be justified?

It also appears that the road, which is now a major through route in the city, is being narrowed to accommodate the change.

The suspicion is of course that this is yet another attempt to choke our traffic, enabling the council to justify further unnecessary road closures.

Any citizen of Edinburgh could easily identify other pavements and roads which are in far more urgent need of repair than this one!

Robert S Clark, Brunstane Drive, Edinburgh

Worrying signs of independence

I READ that the giant French firm Alstom, which had been considering setting up a renewable energy plant in Leith, is now thinking of moving to England (News, November 14).

I also heard John Swinney on the radio rubbishing the idea that any inward investors might be put off coming to Scotland due to the uncertainties arising from the proposed referendum on independence.

One cannot help but think that Alstom might be an example of what he was denying might happen.

And on a related point it is surely obvious that, if we were to become independent, the rump UK government would be under huge pressure from English constituencies to give Royal Naval construction work to English dockyards.

Whether this would happen cannot be predicted with certainty but one can say with certainty that there is a high risk this would happen. However, yet again, the SNP simply dismisses such suggestions as scare-mongering.

Donald McBride, Craigleith Hill Crescent, Edinburgh

Drawbacks of industrial past

I HAVE read that scientific researchers in California are warning that the chemical trichloroethylene, which can be a carcinogenic, can also cause Parkinson’s disease and can take up to 40 years for symptoms to appear.

We are advised that those exposed to this chemical, which is used in paint, adhesives and as a degreasing agent, are six times more likely to be exposed to this illness.

British experts say the use of trichloroethylene in most products was discontinued about 30 years ago, but still used as a degreasing agent.

Whilst an employee of the former electronics company Ferranti in the 1960s I was exposed to this chemical, which was in prolific use on the factory floor. Large 2-litre bottles were on work benches all over the place, many of the staff used to liberally pour this stuff all over their work surfaces or desks to clean them and some found it useful as fuel for their lighters, which when lit, gave off a thick black toxic smoke.

No employees were ever advised of any health problems related to this product.

Frank Ferri, Newhaven Main Street, Edinburgh