Monday, 9 February 2009

Canongate Snowtime

View up the Canongate with Macrae tenements to the right

which are to be demolished for Accor Five Star Hotel.

Up and down past the Canongate Tollbooth

Every morning pigeons sit on the Canongate Kirk and a crow on the stags antlers.

View toward New Street site where bulk of Caltongate to be built, with Canongate Venture in foreground, to be demolished for 5 star hotel`s conference centre. Calton Hill in background.

Whats left of the Belltower on the Canongate Venture building, which the council vandalised in 2007.

View through former Vegetable Market and Canongate Venture on East Market St to the new council headquarters. Caltongate buildings to replace the market and school are basically more of the same, basically nothing but glass with the odd bit of opaque material, So lots of heat lost in winter then blinds down when a ray of sunshine appears.

The lights are on but no-one's in at council offices

ARRIVING in the city at the end of last month to take up a six-month work contract I was greeted as the train pulled in by what looked like a new office block ablaze with all its lights left on (all weekend no doubt) and not a soul inside.
My first thought was that the city council would be ashamed of any firm engaging in such high-profile corporate eco-terrorism, making such an unfavourable first impression upon visitors. When I saw the building again in the same state later in the week and went to find out who it belonged to, I could really hardly believe it is none other than the city council's own HQ – you couldn't make it up!It really beggars belief that the council can be so inept that they would set such a brazenly bad example. I can't imagine I'm the only person in the city to take issue with this, and wonder whether there is any way that something can be done about it? I assume they have some sort of environmental policy, however rudimentary? I noted with approval before I arrived that the city had elected some Green party councillors – how I sympathise with them if they have to try to tackle Neanderthal behaviour of this kind from the ruling group and/or officers!

Robert Steel, Dean Park Crescent, Edinburgh

Someone has written in about the Johnston Terrace Tree Travesty from last week -

Trees down but ineptitude grows

I WAS saddened to read of the crass stupidity of the parks department in cutting down the trees in King's Stables Road (News, February 4). Is there no end to the incompetence of our overstaffed, overpaid, underworked council departments?Anyone with half a brain knows trees and bushes are a stabilising factor where you have an embankment, otherwise it will erode and the earth slip down the slope.The "over-the-top" reaction by these jobsworths typifies the poor administrative skills and judgement of council staff where silly people justify their expensive existence by coming up with hare-brained ideas like this.Besides the loss of greenery and wildlife, planting wild flowers is a pathetic response to such civic vandalism.

Cecilia C Cavaye, Durham Terrace, Edinburgh

Both letters appear in today`s Evening News