Letters: School in park will be great environment for learning

Opponents of the new high school on the park in Portobello could do with getting some of their facts straight.

The council does not – and never did – need permission to appropriate the park for a school as Lady Dorrian confirmed in her ruling when the opponents lost their case.

The permission of the courts is only needed if the council had wanted to sell the land for development but it doesn’t.

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It is using common good land to build something for the common good – a high school to replace one attended by 1400 children that’s not been fit for purpose for years.

What few people have dared to say is that the under-used playing fields at the top of Milton Road are actually the perfect site for a new school.

The new building, designed to complement its surroundings and no taller than the houses that surround it, will be screened from them by huge mature trees, enjoying views of the Forth and Arthur’s Seat. What a great environment for future generations to learn in.

If people choose to live in a city, by all means protect green spaces from development, but not at any price. The new school building will take up less than three per cent of the open green spaces in the high school catchment.

G Baillie, Bath Street, Portobello

Give the private hire drivers a lift

I HAVE been a private hire driver for many years and have seen lots of changes in this city.

Private hire drivers are not allowed to use the Greenways although we are cab tested and pay the same licence fees as black cabs.

Black cabs are allowed to use the Greenways to take their passengers to the airport and other destinations.

Private hire cars are not allowed to use the Greenways because, as has been stipulated by the police, we had no identification on our cars and other cars may follow us into the bus lanes.

We now have identification plates on all sides of our vehicles and we still can’t use the Greenways.

Can anybody explain to me how the camera operators are going to police the Greenways bearing in mind that black cabs are not allowed to use the Greenways when empty?

How is a camera going to detect whether a black cab has passengers or not?

S Schofield, Craigmillar Castle Avenue, Edinburgh

City strikes gold with only logo

WITH reference to the vast sums that London is spending on security for the Olympic Games, perhaps Edinburgh can count itself lucky that the only thing it has to get hot and bothered about is the installation of the Olympic logo.

There can be no denying the great honour in hosting an event such as the Olympic Games, but when issues including security, politics and terrorism enter into the equation this honour is perhaps somewhat tainted.

It now seems detrimental to the Olympic spirit and sport in general that the issues of things such as security might eclipse the actual event.

Angus McGregor, Albion Road, Edinburgh

Relief is at hand for MS sufferers

THIS week marks MS Week, organised to raise awareness of multiple sclerosis in the UK. This event, which aims to fight back against MS, should be applauded, supported and celebrated.

I manage a centre in Edinburgh which provides support and treatment for people suffering with MS. I hope this awareness week will highlight to sufferers and their carers that there is real help to be had and together we can fight back against MS.

The MS Therapy Centre is a charitable venture and is the only place of its kind in Edinburgh and the Lothians. We provide hyberbaric oxygen therapy which greatly relieves the symptoms of MS for many sufferers. We also have in-house physiotherapists and complementary therapists who deliver vital treatment.

We currently support around 200 people but I am confident there are many more people out there that could have a better quality of life if they only knew what help was available to them.

If MS Week encourages just one more person through our doors then, to me, it would have been a success.

Cathy Kirk, MS Therapy Centre, Bonnington Road, Edinburgh