Sir, – The decision to reject the £5.2 million Next store bid is not good for Dundee.
How many other companies will this persuade not to invest in brand Dundee?
The city centre has its challenges and it is not the fault of Next.
Many initiatives and investments are ongoing in Dundee for which the council must be applauded.
The commutable catchment that can be attracted is enormous from Angus, Fife, Perth and Kinross, plus visitors and tourists.
That is what cities do and Dundee must do.
Dundee City Council needs to up its game, think big and be a bit more entrepreneurial.
The Wellgate, Reform Street and others parts are looking sad with vacant units.
Landlords, councils and stakeholders need to get together to address rates, rents and the other barriers (some self-inflicted) to make it viable for businesses to trade.
It is not easy I know, but that is where, and only where, the solution lies to re-energise the city centre.
Previously reported lightweight initiatives and get-togethers will not solve this.
There is always a solution.
It needs real management and leadership, a new approach, a new real-time logic, a new strategy. Do not penalise or deter investments to other parts of the city to the detriment of brand Dundee.
21 Inchkeith Avenue,
Shoppers will abandon city
Sir, – Dundee City Council has once again shown its narrow- mindedness in rejecting plans from retailers Next to build a new concept home and garden store at Kingsway West in the city.
Sitting in the public gallery I witnessed the dismissal of the 125 new jobs this would have brought to Dundee.
In these tough and uncertain economic times, this surely would have been a boost to the local economy.
Protect our city centre seemed to be the mantra of the day.
What our local councillors have failed to understand is the way consumers shop today and all they have done is drive the spend out of our city centre to places like Kirkcaldy where one of these concept stores already exists.
This will leave Dundee once again lagging behind in terms of retail destinations
What did come across loud and clear was that some did not have a good enough handle on the facts to make an informed decision.
It certainly appeared that for many, minds were made up before any arguments were heard.
Having sat for two hours, I still remain unclear as to the reasons for the rejection of the plan.
7 Rockfield Street,
Sir, – It is only right to congratulate all the school pupils who did so well in their examinations.
There are a lot of talented young people in Scotland who work hard and have great ambitions.
I wish them every success in their chosen careers or professions.
We should, however, acknowledge the commitment and dedication of all school teachers who do their best to ensure their pupils are well prepared for their futures.
93 Main Street,
SNP should talk the talk
Sir, – I am English and I see nothing wrong with Gaelic being taught in schools as the language should be kept alive.
I think your correspondent Martin Redfern has a point in that it should not be to the detriment of the other subjects.
I lived in South Africa and learned to converse in Afrikaans for two reasons, one because I was told it was a dying language and also to accommodate Afrikaans -speaking fellow workers and friends.
I am now using the internet and the public library to learn to speak and write Gaelic. I do not find it easy but I am persevering because it is important to keep the language alive.
I do agree with Martin Redfern regarding the road signs.
I was approached before the last election by a representative of the SNP. When I greeted him in Gaelic he didn’t understand.
I would have expected proficiency in Gaelic to be a condition of membership of the SNP or at least all their MSPs but I have my doubts.
10 Graham Court,
Eliminate this abuse scourge
Sir, – Have we all become a bit sanitised, as Councillor David MacDiarmid suggests, (August 13) to news of cases of historical abuse in various organisations?
I think most of us will continue to feel a sense of disbelief and horror, and perhaps console ourselves that two major inquiries, north and south of the border, are investigating the issue.
Those inquiries now led by Professor Alexis Jay and Lady Anne Smith could last as long as a decade. They may give victims a chance to be heard after years of anguish. It is less clear that they will tell us anything new.
It should be clear that people put in a position of power over other individuals have the chance to abuse that power.
This can apply in a domestic situation and in schools, residential homes and broadcasting outlets.
Unless there is a network of checks and balances to call those individuals to account, power can be abused.
Unless there is adequate training, proactive management and strict legal obligations, that power will continue to be abused.
Unless there is clear guidance from government that no organisation, religious or otherwise, is above the law, that power will continue to be abused.
I doubt we need a lengthy inquiry to tell us all this. What we do need now are concrete proposals to help mitigate, if not eliminate, what remains a scourge on our body politic.
24 Shiel Court,
We all pay for wind shutdown
Sir, – On Sunday August 7 it was so windy that the National Grid, fearing it would be swamped, paid for wind turbines to be switched off.
Lang Banks of WWF Scotland claimed that high winds on that day were strong enough to power the equivalent of all of Scotland’s electricity needs for the day.
He said that this wind power generated 106% of Scotland’s needs but was silent about the other 364 days.
Wind turbine operators have priority access to the grid so get compensation paid when the electricity is not needed.
On August 7 they were paid £3.1 million compensation, with the final bill likely to exceed £4 million.
This compensation fund, established in 2011, has paid out more than £235m across Scotland. These costs are added to our electricity bills.
138 Springfield Road,
Britain races to top of world
Sir, – After the magnificent efforts of our British athletes in Rio, it would appear they have been unaffected by the prospects of Brexit and have made the UK feel on top of the world.
It is to be hoped the same team spirit will be adopted by our industrialists, entrepreneurs, bankers, politicians and workforce to pull in the same direction and put the UK as a whole at the top of the world.