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READERS’ LETTERS: Abuse of power in Phil Gormley saga?

Philip Gormley.
Philip Gormley.

Sir, – I read in my daily Courier, with utter dismay, but with no surprise I have to say, that chief constable Phil Gormley has left his post with Police Scotland.

It was no surprise that Mr Gormley resigned following the intervention of Justice Secretary Michael Matheson who gave him little choice but to leave, as continuing with Police Scotland was out of the question.

On most occasions it is difficult to disagree with The Courier editorial but on this occasion “wiping the slate clean” (“Right or wrong, exit door was only option”, The Courier, February 8) is not, in my opinion, an option to be pursued.

Mr Gormley may or may not be guilty of anything.

However, we have not heard a shred of evidence of any wrongdoing and his accusers may be quite happy if it is swept under the carpet and they do not have to explain their allegations.

The justice secretary may well have the power to intervene as he did, but his actions should be tested in a review, as his intervention made it impossible for the chief constable to continue in his post and was, in my opinion, an abuse of power.

There is no doubt, of course, that Police Scotland has not delivered for the people of Scotland .

I have maintained from day one of its creation that it was a bad judgement call financially, but it would now be embarrassing for politicians to return to the successes of the regional arrangements.

As a former board member of Tayside Police for many years, I have no reason to believe that other Police Boards in Scotland were any different from ours when I say that Tayside Police, under the safe hands of Chief Constable Bill Spence and his dedicated staff, who always ensured our city was safe and made sure they were all accountable to the citizens under their care.

A return to the good old days will not happen of course but let’s make those responsible for this sorry mess accountable for their actions.

John Letford.
1 Rosebank Tce,
Dundee.

 

We need Phil Gormley’s story

Sir, – All the reports on Scotland’s chief constable Phil Gormley’s recent resignation seem to point to the need to hear his side of the story, the process he endured, his efforts to implement the SNP’s vision for Police Scotland, and his alleged misconduct – the nature of which the public has no clue about.

In fact he has never even been formally questioned by the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) or the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner.

It seems everyone else has had their say in the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Sub-Committee on Policing’s investigations of the SPA, but Mr Gormley’s input would be very enlightening.

It doesn’t sound like he has had a massive pay-off as a condition of his silence.

Surely one of the committee chairmen should summon him?

Allan Sutherland.
1 Willow Row,
Stonehaven.

Something to hide?

Sir, – Chief Constable Phil Gormley has resigned with immediate effect (“Chief constable resigns immediately from post”, The Courier, February 8).

The five outstanding misconduct allegations against him have been dropped. Surely it would have been better to continue the investigation into the allegations against him and, if he was found not guilty of the offences, this would put him in a strong position to claim compensation for being, apparently, forced out of office?

By dropping the investigation, people will unfairly adopt the “no smoke without fire” position.

Could it be that politicians and the Scottish Police Authority have something to hide?

Clark Cross.
138 Springfield Road,
Linlithgow.

 

Development white elephant?

Sir, – Having read in The Courier (“Work starts on £30m cinema and shopping complex in city”, February 5) and having seen the partial parking “until further notice” at Perth’s Thimble Row parking, to make way for “groundwork” preparing for the construction of the new Mill Quarter, I have to express my disgust.

Thirty million pounds and for what? Another hotel, with the Mercure nearby? Another cinema? The Playhouse has seven screens and various other amenities which are enough for us.

Also, where are the predicted 300,000 visitors to this new cinema and shopping complex coming from?

This could be the biggest white elephant ever to appear in our not-so-fair-city.

Perth is losing two excellent car parks, because of a fantasy in the minds of councillors and planners.

The money would have been better spent on Perth Royal Infirmary services and on our schools, the upkeep of our roads, and housing stock.

Alister Y. Allan.
18 Castle View,
Letham,
Perth.

 

Use our money to best effect

Sir, – Regarding your article on the recent Game Changer report released by the Climate Coalition, and the response by the WWF’s chief executive, Tanya Steele (“Climate changes could put golf links in bunker”, The Courier, February 7).

Ms Steele, also a member of the Climate Coalition, fears climate change will bring “irrevocable change” to golf, football and cricket, due to environmental damage to facilities, unless we heed the Paris Climate Change Agreement’s targets for CO2 emissions reductions.

These claims are very misleading.

Perhaps Ms Steele means all the nations making up the Paris Agreement but, if she insinuates the UK can usefully help through total abolition of our mere 1.3% of global CO2 release – and in Scotland’s case 0.3% –that is obviously nonsense.

In fact, without the participation of the “big emitters,” China, the USA and India, the whole programme stemming from the Paris Agreement will fail to prevent adverse climate change effects.

Moreover, the belief in man-made global warming, depending on computer modelling, and so far giving unreliable predictions, is very tenuously based.

Given the huge costs of the CO2 reduction programme, for the UK at least, we would be much better off using the resources for more obviously useful causes.

These include the defence of the realm, and giving extra support to education, the NHS and alleviation of poverty.

The latter is said, for example, to affect at least half of Glasgow children.

Dr Charles Wardrop.
111 Viewlands Rd West,
Perth.

 

Disbelief at social care cuts

Sir, – It was with utter disbelief and profound sadness that we read in The Courier (February 8) that councillors will consider cutting more than 30 social care jobs in Dundee.

Whilst we in Dundee Pensioners’ Forum are all too aware of the demands made on the council to make savings in almost every area of its responsibilities, can there be a higher responsibility than the care and protection of our most vulnerable citizens?

If the council is even considering cuts in the area of social care, then we are in danger of abandoning all belief in a social conscience in the face of the pressures of continuing austerity.

We call upon every councillor in all parties and all members of the Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership Integration Joint Board to oppose and dismiss this abhorrent policy proposal.

The Rev. Erik Cramb.
Flat 35,
Braehead,
Methven Walk,
Dundee.

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