Sir, – How sad to see the untidy and neglected state of Magdalen Green, which, in the pursuit of biodiversity, has been left with uncut areas and verges full of weeds and long grass.
It is very difficult to access any part of the Green without walking through long grass which wraps itself around your feet and ankles, and is extremely slippy when wet.
A real slip and trip hazard. The trees have begun to self-seed and the saplings, unless removed, will quickly become a problem.
The only contribution to biodiversity would appear to be numerous infestations of docken, nettles and thistles.
The area already makes a significant contribution to biodiversity.
There is the large piece of land to the south of the railway line, which has been wild for years, and there is the nature reserve which, conversely, has had the grass cut, and a valuable flower which was especially cultivated has been mown down.
The entire western end of Magdalen Green has not been cut this year.
The picnic tables are sitting unused in the middle of long grass and one of the seats has fallen off and is just lying on the ground, contributing to the general impression of neglect.
Magdalen Green should be returned to its well-kept and easily accessible state, ensuring that all the residents of the West End and further afield are able to enjoy it.
Difficult job but one done well
Sir, – I wish to respond to your report (Angus residence ordered to improve infection measures, Courier, August 7) concerning an unannounced inspection to Abbey House care home on the outskirts of Kirriemuir.
My wife has been a resident for over two years and is virtually incapacitated by dementia.
Until the Covid-19 lockdown (a full week earlier than the official instruction) I visited Abbey House daily.
I have been unable to see her since mid March, but make daily phone calls.
She is unable to use the phone, but the staff give me a daily report, and she is now very much settled in the care home environment.
Abbey House has maintained a rigorous control of its lockdown integrity, and both residents and staff have tested negative.
The inspectors highlighted errors in the use of PPE, such as gloves and handling of face masks.
I would be surprised if any one of us has not been guilty of such matters.
The inspectors felt there was some lack of interaction between staff and residents in the form of activities and entertainment. Prior to lockdown, however, there was a constant stream of visiting groups and individuals providing music, dancing and regular local visitors with their dogs.
Had the inspectors been a bit later in the day, they would have witnessed members of staff playing board games with the mobile residents.
There was also a laundry complaint. Apparently the facilities are not quite up to present-day standards. Small care homes have very little cash to spend on equipment and strive to maintain standards to the best of their limited abilities.
As a small care home, Abbey House has a small, but dedicated number of staff members, mostly from the local community, so there is very little change in personnel to cause any confusion in the minds of residents.
Care workers learn their craft “on the job” in the fashion of the old system of apprenticeships.
The training is rigorous. It is unfortunate that the care workers’ remuneration falls well short of an acceptable standard for the quality of commitment.
Not safe to cycle on pavements
Sir, – I am totally sick of seeing cyclists riding on the pavement, especially older ones who should be setting an example to younger ones.
It is selfish and irresponsible and there Is no excuse for it.
Busy pavements like Crieff Road and Dunkeld Road are particularly bad for it with pedestrians having to take evasive action.
It is actually illegal under the RSA 1984 Section 129.
Why is no action ever taken?
I have had arguments with cyclists in which they have said it is perfectly OK to cycle on the pavement.
I would ask that Police Scotland respond to this letter.
How to solve the problem of cars?
Sir, – In all the current discussion about more space for pedestrians and cyclists, we cannot forget the cars.
Cycle lanes are useless if parked on by cars.
We need overall space and parking strategy to accommodate people who have to use their cars, eg elderly or disabled drivers, and a system which will not detract from local businesses.
One example is the Sinderins on Perth Road.
Parking on both sides of the road, often on the pavement or on double yellow lines, makes life very difficult for traffic, especially buses, and tricky for cyclists.
With much more limited traffic or pedestrianisation, cafés could expand on to the pavements to provide a much more pleasant shopping experience for all. But where do the cars go?
There is insufficient parking already, while traffic cannot be redirected round an already congested Magdalen Yard Green.
Solve this problem and you would have a lovely area for West End shopping.
I write as a regular pedestrian and cyclist and occasional driver.
Please leave history in peace
Sir, – When Fife Council has finished cleaning up street names apparently connected with slavery (Street names with ‘links’ to slave trade under scrutiny, Courier, August 10), whilst leaving mere physical litter alone, it might want to give consideration to the two months of the year (July and August) associated with slavery and the day of the week (Wednesday) associated with human sacrifice.
Alternatively, they might want to leave history in peace and focus on their real duties.