Sir, – Why are so many people leaving Scotland?
For every 10 who come to Scotland, another eight leave us.
Mostly, we are losing young people and the graduates it has cost us so much to educate.
The rest of the UK loses scores of young workers too, but at a much lower rate than ourselves.
Every person of working age who leaves us represents future loss of tax and national insurance contributions.
With our growing number of pensioners, we simply cannot afford to lose so many young tax payers.
Moreover, our birthrate in Scotland is low and falling.
In the last 12 months, the number of births registered in Scotland has fallen by more than 900 to just 54,800.
We need more than 70,000 to pay for the cost of our pensioners. All the while the number of pensioners in Scotland is increasing.
The loss of workers ought to be alarming to us, especially if we are to become a stand- alone member of the European Union.
We need to be much more aware of these declining numbers and the implications for us all but instead, we’re still making really big efforts to ensure that our girls are aware of the problems of being a mum, rather than the joy of being a mum.
Our young men need to appreciate the benefits of family life.
Our neighbours in Norway have a low birth rate too but theirs is still a little higher than ours.
In Norway, they are at least concerned about their drop in births, while we seem to be oblivious.
We’re fortunate indeed that the number of migrants who stay in Scotland is helping to keep the number of young people from falling even more steeply.
Those few migrants who stay ensure the character of our nation is changing: not as fast as the changes down south, but changing here, just as surely.
34 Ross Avenue.
Sad loss of Largo trees
Sir, – I am writing to inform you how appalled I am at Fife Council’s decision to allow Lundin Homes permission to chop down the two old trees in the field where they are building houses in Largo.
Apparently the trees were deemed unsafe.
That is no surprise because digging work had taken place so close to the trees and their roots.
As residents we could have placed a large bet on these trees being removed, even before the foundations of this development were built.
These old trees were a landmark and Fife Council should have made sure they were protected instead of conveniently being removed.
Maybe they have to be replaced but it will take many years for them to reach the height and maturity of the original ones.
13 Bourtree Brae,
Pipeland must be ruled out
Sir, – Councillor Brian Thomson’s critical comments in your article (September 2) reporting that the environmental charity STEPAL had been cleared of any malpractice by the charity regulator is an astonishing attempt to rewrite history.
As a leading proponent of a failed plan to site a replacement school for Madras on the St Andrews Green Belt, he is clearly wanting to find a scapegoat.
However, he should reflect on his support for a badly planned project instead of blaming the group which, with enormous local support, prevented Fife Council from proceeding with a scheme that was found to be unlawful by the highest court in Scotland.
Rather than being against the interests of children, the court’s requirement that Fife Council must think again, opens up the possibility that a better-located school, easily accessed by the majority of pupils and community users, might be achieved by Fife Council.
This would be the exact opposite of the expensive and poorly located Pipeland scheme struck down by the court, which would have served only the interests of a narrow minority.
17 St Bunyans Place,
Benefits of Stracathro
Sir, – Concern is being expressed about the future of the Mulberry Unit at Stracathro Hospital, Brechin.
NHS Tayside wishes to reduce the number of adult psychiatric units from three to either one or two.
As a former employee, I would argue that the outlook and atmosphere at Stracathro is more conducive to both physical and mental recovery than either of the urban hospitals and I would urge people to support the campaign to save it for the sake of patients.
Dr E. Cohen.
Unacceptable delays on A90
Sir, – Paul Reoch’s report on the traffic jam on Friarton Bridge last weekend fairly bristled with indignation and rightly so.
BEAR Scotland’s apology would not had been necessary if the works had been properly organised and signed well in advance and, crucially, carried out entirely at night, instead of half-heartedly during the day, at a weekend in what is still the holiday season.
Before they protest that this would have cost more in overtime, the cost to motorists in frustration (indeed anger, as no one was working for hours on Saturday afternoon) extra fuel and pollution, missed business and social meetings will have been infinitely higher.
We can only hope knuckles will be rapped and lessons learnt.
6 Conachar Court,
GERS reveal strong economy
Sir, – With the recent GERS figures supposedly showing that resource-rich, wealthy Scotland is a basket case costing London a fortune, why then are they so determined to keep us?
If they love us so much, why are we as Scots, denigrated on a regular basis? Just watch Westminster in action if you doubt it.
They said during the independence referendum that we are equal and valued partners. So why are our views so often rejected, for example, at Theresa May’s Chequers meeting on Brexit.
Weren’t we to lead the union, not leave it? So why is EVEL in place?
If the Scots democracy is protected within the UK, why are we ruled by an ideology that Scotland overwhelmingly rejects, time and time again?
Indeed, we are constantly badgered and cajoled by the only representative of that ideology, David Mundell.
Why, if we’re a truly United Kingdom are we having to leave the European Union despite Scotland voting strongly to remain?
So if we are so different, why do they want to keep us?
I doubt it is due to the fact that in 1707 the then speaker of the English Parliament said: “We have catched Scotland, we must ever hold her tight.”
No, in truth, they have never wanted us. All they want is everything that’s ours. Make no mistake, if we had been as destitute as our Scots unionist friends constantly like to make out, they’d have cut us loose years ago.
The GERS figures are the best advert for independence you’ll find.
They show it is the union that is failing, not Scotland.
10 Beck Crescent,
Sense of pride in Union flag
Sir, – Whether at the Olympic games, the Last Night of the Proms, or the recent Edinburgh Royal Military Tattoo, to see the Union flag being carried, waved, or flying over a castle or other building is a pleasing sight.
It is colourful, easily recognisable and symbolic. Long may Britain remain great.