Readers' Letters

Won’t consider using Dundee Airport again after disregard shown for locals

4 February 2013 3.22pm.

Sir, – I write with reference to the letter in The Courier on Friday, January 25, from Mr Inglis Lyon regarding Dundee Airport and the support needed from local residents.

I would like to point out as a local resident the difficulties we face supporting our local airport and will give you an example of an incident which happened to me which, as far as I believe, is not an uncommon occurrence.

I booked flights to London. I could have travelled from Edinburgh at approximately a third of the cost but for convenience I decided it would be worth it as we were only going for the weekend.
The flight to London was uneventful. However, when we arrived at London City Airport for our return flight we were informed that the flight had been cancelled.
We were given no warning and were told we would have to wait for a flight to Edinburgh and be bussed to Dundee. We were less than happy as we did not even receive an apology. Our flight was now later, we had to wait for a bus and everyone to arrive for it.
When we eventually got to Dundee they did not even have the decency to take us into the city centre, we were unceremoniously dumped out at the airport which was closed, our luggage was thrown out in a manner which could have easily caused breakages. Our arranged lift
home could not now meet us so we had the additional cost of a taxi.
After writing a letter of complaint to the airline I was basically told this happens and still did not receive an apology. After talking with colleagues who have experienced the same thing, I have not considered flying from Dundee again. I have flown BA from Edinburgh.
I won’t consider Dundee airport again until their airline partners have more regard for local residents.
Jacqueline McCluskey.
22 Ferndale Drive,
Broughty Ferry, Dundee.
Let’s sort the basics first
Sir, – Your business reporter, Graham Huband, promotes the case of the HS2 rail link as a much needed jobs and wealth creator. He quotes the chancellor as saying “doing nothing was not a choice for a progressive economy”.
This may be the case, but not only does this project come with a massive price tag which this much indebted country can ill afford, but it completely ignores the fundamentals that should be looked at first before we embark on another journey into a massive monetary “black hole”.
We currently have one of the worst infrastructures with potholed and crumbling roads and motorways brought on by an unpredictable climate and years of funding neglect by indifferent governments. 
Let us be a progressive economy by all means, but before we engage in a contentious rail project, let’s see to the basics and start repairing the roads we all rely on.
Thousands of jobs could be created if done properly with all the associated consumer benefits. Then, and only then, can we afford to look at saddling this country’s population with £1000 per head of debt.
Stephen Henderson.
Camphill Road,
Broughty Ferry, Dundee.
Local groups lose out too
Sir, – We at SAMS (St Andrews Musical Society) have been devastated by the news of the Byre’s closure with the loss of 25 jobs. What a tragedy for the staff who have had no time to prepare for redundancy or for the Board and Friends, who, despite  their valiant efforts, have been unable to save the theatre.
The Byre, which was due to celebrate its 80th birthday on April 4 this year, has been such a valuable artistic hub over the years and a key focus for  community involvement in so many ways.
It is ironic that the Byre was  recognised by Creative Scotland for an award with the recent success of Macpherson’s Rant.
So many local groups who use the theatre have lost out also. 
At the end of February SAMS was due to stage Carousel, a first both for our society and for the Byre. Our shows have always been so well, supported in the past.
SAMS has managed to change the venue to the Town Hall. Times, dates and prices will  remain the same (February 26 – March 2).
We shall honour tickets bought from the Byre. However, seats at the Town Hall will not be numbered. To procure the desired seat we ask those purchasers to arrive at a reasonable time, as it will be  on a “first come first served” basis.
As the box office in the Byre is now closed, SAMS is indebted to The Potting Shed 199 South Street, the former Garden Centre close to the West Port, who have volunteered to sell remaining tickets. You can also reserve tickets by phone on 07581899148 during business hours.
Despite this tragedy we believe the ‘show must go on’. We hope that the town’s people will rally round and support us in these difficult times.
Mary Ray.
vice-President SAMS.
Live horse and you’ll get corn
Sir, – Ed Miliband wonders how he can deliver social justice for the UK.
Westminster has had 306 years to do just that.
The people of Scotland can wait no longer.
Labour are also promising more powers under devolution. Would that be the same powers promised prior to the last referendum on independence?
A case of live horse and you will get corn!
Peter Bell.
Muirton Road,
John Ruddy More than 1 year ago
Peter Bell, what "last referendum on independence"? Are you referring to remarks made by the Tory Alec Douglas-Hume? I suggest you look at which party delivered devolution in 1999 for Scotland, and then ask which party do you trust to deliver on its promises.
Billy Connor More than 1 year ago
Not labour if that's what your suggesting who were dragged kicking and screaming to deliver devolution and then watered it down in the hope that it would be nothing more than a parish council.
Stuart Winton More than 1 year ago
Peter Bell's "social justice" must be that same magic wand that'll be waved on inependence to "grow Scotland's economy", blah, blah. What precisely this amounts to is unclear, but with the various tax cuts promised while at the same time offering spending pledges to deliver this nirvana of social justice it looks like simply adding to the debt burden Scotland would inherit, even with oil revenues. Which of course doesn't add up, as Labour and Gordon Brown found to its cost, not to mention the cost now being endured in terms of economic collapse and subsequent austerity. The fact is that Holyrood already has the ability to raise taxes and has a plethora of powers to deliver social justice, but the reality is that it's too scared to raise taxes, and is to busy posturing and moralising to use its existing powers. Peter Bell is particularly good at the latter as well, and that's the scary thing.
Stuart Allan More than 1 year ago
Your obfuscation and bluster is well rehearsed Stuart. As usual though, your facts are awry. Scotland's priorities (social justice) are not Westminster's (trident, austerity, wealthy friendly policies) and with those changes, coupled with Scotland's stronger financial position, prosperity is more than possible. Scotland's ability to vary income tax is offset by any money raised being axed from the block grant. So no benefit. Only Independence allows us to use Scotland's wealth for the full benefit of its people.
Stuart Winton More than 1 year ago
Nonsense. You seem to have forgotten the SNP's 'Penny for Scotland' plan to raise income tax, but they dropped that because it bombed at the polls. And remember that John Swinney let Holyrood's ability to raise income tax to benefit Scottish coffers lapse, simply because they won't use that policy.
Stuart Winton More than 1 year ago
Remember also that in 2010 John Swinney had to apologise to the Scottish Parliament for letting its tax-raising powers lapse and misleading MSPs to that effect.
Stuart Allan More than 1 year ago
None of which is relevant Stuart. The bottom line is that Scotland's meagre tax raising powers are offset by the cut to the Block Grant that would ensue. Maintaining a power no Scottish Govt in its right mind would use costs a lot of money. The SNP decided to use it elsewhere. Nothing unreasonable about that. Only Independence can give the power over revenue and spending that has seen our small West European neighbours prosper while a Scotland under the Union has stagnated. "Managed decline" is no substitute for growth and prosperity.
AlexMontrose More than 1 year ago
Westminster cares not a jot for social justice, the UK is the 4th most unequal country in the developed world, and is well on the way to 1st place. This is no unfortunate accident, its Westminster policy. An Independent Scotland will be able to build a society that reflects, the people of Scotland's values and priorities.
Derek Farmer More than 1 year ago
Stuart A. Stuart, I believe in the need for people to take responsibility for their own lives. If that is "Right Wing", then maybe I must be a "Right Winger". I don't see endemic poverty in Scotland, judging in part, by the huge numbers of expensive "Chelsea Tractors" on the roads. "Child Poverty" is a modern term, designed to camouflage the irresponsibility of parents whose children come way down on the list of life-style priority. As for M.P's in Westminster....... we all know that they are 99.9% socialist. If they are espousing a socialist agenda, then why did we not see greater levels of rebellion when Labour Government was in power for the last decade ? and Why did Gordon Brown as both Chancellor and P.M. not push for greater economic social benefit to Scotland ? The reason , I think, is that the social pressure groups go too far in falsely promoting poverty and social need, resulting in pressure for more and more Government handouts, much of which disappears on fags and booze. A society without rigour is a society without respect, and an Armageddon for our grandchildren
Stuart Allan More than 1 year ago
I'm not saying people shouldn't take responsibility for their own lives Derek. I just don't agree with your assumption that everyone in poverty is there by choice and reflexly spends their money on the wrong things. That is a stereotype that has been disproved many times but is resurrected time and again by the right wing when it needs a bogey man to justify cutting benefits while favouring the wealthy. You may not see much in the way of poverty in rural Fife, but that does not mean it doesn't exist. Go into the urban areas of Scotland and you will see things we thought belonged in the days of black and white news reports. Child poverty is simply a measure of the proportion of children living in households with an income less than 50% of the national average. It has NOTHING to do with what they spend that income on. It is not a subjective observation but an objective fact. That 25% of Scottish children live in such households is a sad indictment of Scotland's poor economic performance under the Union. Especially when the figure in England is much lower despite using the same average income figure. Clearly, as a peripheral economy of a state openly run to maintain economic stability in Southern England, Scotland is handicapped. This economic handicap explains Scotland's historically poor economic growth and the worst socio-economic indicators in Western Europe since WW2. Subsequently, Scotland became the only country on the planet to see its population fall between WW2 and the millenium as literally millions had to leave in order to make a living. ALL our Western European neighbours have seen their populations rise while their economies have outstripped Scotland's. They did not need Westminster rule to achieve this. Why should Scotland need Westminster rule simply to maintain our current poor performance?