Letters: Time for councils to lessen financial burden on public

WHILST the amount of council chief Tom Aitchison's and two directors' pensions may be obscene (News, 28 June), it is no doubt what they are due.

However, as Mr Aitchison, numerous directors and many councillors over the last 16 years have overseen the gradual decline in the city, let us just be glad to get rid of them.

At present the salaries paid to the chief executive and directors are very high.

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Surely if money in the public sector is being reduced, do we really need to replace these people?

After all, you just have to look around you and see the state of Edinburgh to question if these highly paid jobs are justified.

The public do not pay their taxes for authorities to create jobs that are not necessary. You would then have to look at all the staff connected to these jobs.

Are they required? It is maybe time councils started to look at the harsh reality that the rest of society is having to do and realise their main concern is providing the best possible services for the least financial burden on the public.

The public are not part of a job creation scheme. All many council jobs do is keep the unemployment figures down.

David Black, Kenmure Avenue, Edinburgh

Better places to spend 55 million

IF THE people had been given a vote on the trams, the project would never have gone ahead.

I objected to the lack of Scottish workers on the project, then the price rose sky-high.

It would have been a lot cheaper to update our bus service, which I feel does a pretty good job. The 35 to the airport is an excellent service.

The council is always saying it has to cut back, but another 55 million would buy a lot of hospital equipment and many schools could do with a facelift.

Mrs C J Wilson, Milton Drive, Edinburgh

Party shows how low we have sunk

ANDREW Murphy says he is a supporter of the New Year street party (Interactive, 26 June).

There's no pretence the event has anything to with a traditional Scottish Hogmanay, it's just another pop concert held over New Year.

This extravaganza, which reduces the city to resemble a 1950s "cold war" eastern European city and denies citizens the public access they already pay for, could be held at any time.

It sacrifices a fine tradition – Hogmanay used to be a time to celebrate the hope of a New Year with family and friends – for the sake of commerce harvesting a few more "roubles".

"First footing" has been replaced by a heavily concentrated melee of vomiting and urinating drunks in the city centre, accompanied by wild, unpleasant and threatening behaviour – all of which tests our emergency services and their staff to the absolute limit.

It shows how far Edinburgh's standards have fallen in the rush to appease commercial interests at the public's expense.

Jim Taylor, The Murrays Brae, Edinburgh

Beware of the Tories' sharp wit

THERE is no doubt sharp-witted politicians could try to run rings around my words and blind me with figures, but I had, like millions of other workers, something they will never understand. That is a lifetime of hard work and struggle to help improve the lives of all men, women and children.

Great strides were made in creating a more caring society of which we should be proud.

But once again the sharp-witted politicians have been given an opportunity to make us pay for the misdeeds of the rich and powerful, relishing the prospect of undoing so much of what has been achieved, setting back the caring society very many years.

They may hold their hands on their hearts saying, "I would rather not do this", but this is Tory policy, it always has been.

The electors made a dreadful mistake in not learning from the past, putting these people back into power. Now millions of men, women and children could suffer, not having done anything to create the financial mess they are facing, with wage freezes, higher prices, benefit cuts and massive job losses.

A Delahoy, Silverknowes Gardens, Edinburgh