Letters: Vital that refurbished King's Theatre takes centre stage

IT WAS a great disappointment to be informed that the £6 million grant to refurbish the King's Theatre is set to be withdrawn by the council administration (News, 14 January).

As a councillor for Tollcross I am acutely aware of the important role the King's has in the area.

It is at the heart of the local community and a vital part of the local economy. Its presence benefits many bars, restaurants and other local businesses, and it is a venue loved by people from across the city and beyond. A refurbished King's should be at the centre of a rejuvenated Tollcross.

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I strongly object to 2 million being diverted from the King's to the Assembly Rooms. The Lib Dem/SNP administration were warned that the Assembly Room project could have an impact on the King's refurbishment plans as far back as September 2007, yet I and others were assured that there was no capital funding required for the Assembly Rooms.

It has been clear for several years that the Lib Dem/SNP administration deemed the Assembly Rooms project to be of greater priority than the King's. Yet in my view a fully functioning and refurbished King's is of far greater significance to Tollcross, than some new shops, bars and a restaurant are to George Street.

Paul Godzik , Councillor for Meadows & Morningside, Labour Spokesperson for Culture & Leisure

All quiet on waste of previous regime

ALISTAIR Darling criticises the city council for not building new schools under the PFI scheme (News, 16 January).

What he did not disclose is that the schools that were built during the previous administration were done so with borrowed money, which the council tax payers will be paying for years to come.

There was mention of the wasted money on projects such as road congestion charges, road narrowing, speed bumps, guided bus system, trams and so on.

Also, because of the parking restrictions and charges together with excessive council tax, many businesses in the city centre have closed down.

Mrs D McDonald, Edinburgh

New blood needed to run the Capital

DOES Alistair Darling really believe what he says? The man is the most incompetent Chancellor since Gordon Brown.

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We all know the city leaders are incompetent, with the trams costing millions over budget and not on time. The taxpayer will pay for it then get charged extra for using it. What a shambles – fire them all and let's start with some new blood.

Mr Jef Urquhart, Baird Drive, Edinburgh

Tram poles will have elegant look

I WRITE in reference to the letter from R M Stevenson regarding the tramline poles on Princes Street (15 January).

I would like to clarify that the poles are not yet complete and are only part of the finished solution, with another section to be added at the top which will carry both the fixing for the overhead line, and the elegant light fitting at the very top.

The top section of the poles will taper to a point in the air rather than the cylindrical appearance that they have at present. The poles will have a light fitting which will overarch downwards to form an elegant finish.

The poles and their design have been through the full planning process.

Mandy Haeburn-Little, Director of Communications and Customer Services, Edinburgh Trams

Come clean over dispenser at ERI

WITH regard to your article on infection control incidents (News, 18 January), a few months ago I noticed that the only hand cleaning dispenser in the A&E waiting room at the ERI was empty and it was still empty three days later. I pointed this out to the staff and also wrote in.

I received a reply about how the matter had been investigated, infection control was a top priority for NHS Lothian and that lessons had been learned.

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Early in December, a vending machine was then placed in front of this dispenser, hiding it from view. Now I don't suppose that this machine has been installed out of the goodness of someone's heart, so why has this been allowed to happen?

Keith J Bell, Sighthill Rise, Edinburgh