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READERS’ LETTERS: SNP funding for councils – a case of swings and roundabouts

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Sir, – Many readers will be aware Fife Council has had to remove play equipment from a number of playparks in Fife in recent years for health and safety reasons and not been able to replace the equipment due to the SNP Scottish Government’s cuts to the council’s funding.

While SNP cuts have led to the current situation, their manifesto for the recent Scottish Parliament election included the bold statement that, if elected, they would “…renew every playpark in Scotland, so that all children have access to quality play in their own community”.

This is a common SNP tactic – cut funding to local authorities who have to cut core services, then invent some scheme so it appears the SNP has come to the rescue, eg, the Pupil Equity Funding for education. Irrespective of the political tactics, the clear commitment at least meant communities across the country could look forward to renewed playparks.

However, with the SNP having only committed £60m to the initiative and, with the cost of renewing all playparks in Fife alone estimated at around £30m, it’s clear only a very small percentage of play parks will be renewed across Scotland – and this is a significant failure to deliver on an unambiguous commitment to renew every playpark.

It will certainly be interesting to hear how SNP candidates and activists explain this – along with the SNP cuts that have decimated council services – when campaigning for votes at the forthcoming council elections.

Councillor Brian Thomson, Forbes Place, St Andrews.

Put pesticides and mowing aside in May

Sir, – We need to boost numbers of insects before our Scottish species are hit by extreme climate events such as the recent Storm Arwen.

You may think of me as a hippie tree hugger but I am in fact trying to keep up with reading the science which you guys are, I am told, struggling to do too.

Can I ask Dundee City Council to please pause pesticide/herbicide/glyphosate spraying and at the very least adopt No Mow May?

May I respectfully suggest, the council needs to hire a strategic thinker to plan how they might tackle this emergency.

It is evidently very hard to shift from traditional ways of doing things until you see clearly what the effects are.

Essentially, do you continue to hide behind moaning complainers about long grass being bad for dogs, or do you consider the ecological effect on every living thing on the planet?

Leslie Martin, Glenmarkie Terrace, Dundee.

God leaves too many questions to answer

Sir, – In reply to the letter from Michael Veitch, I first of all want to say that if faith in a god brings comfort to many I am most certainly fine with that, but there are questions I would like to ask.

If something cannot come from nothing where did God come from? Please do not say he has always been there – this is irrational and makes no sense whatsoever.

If God is almighty and all loving, why is there such misery in the world?

Like child abuse, pandemics, starvation (particularly in Afghanistan at the moment), wars and so on.

Religious belief has brought more suffering in the world than anything else, it all depends on which of the many gods you believe in.

Another answer you get is God works in mysterious ways, yet another cop out – science has proved by the discovery of fossils that man evolved, he was not created.

As far as I know, there is actually no evidence that any god exists, just hearsay from a book written 2,000 years ago.

If anyone can show me positive proof that god exists I may reconsider but quite honestly I doubt very much that is going to happen.

Sam Graves, Strathisla Road, West Ferry.

Ministers need to get back on buses

Sir, – Now is the time for the Scottish Government to get rid of all ministerial vehicles and show they will use public transport in order to lead the way to net-zero.

Ronald James, Golf Place, Kirriemuir.

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