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READERS’ LETTERS: ‘Salami-slicing’ council cuts are depressing

Fife House, headquarters of Fife Council.
Fife House, headquarters of Fife Council.

Madam, – The news that Fife Council is facing a £7.4 million overspend (The Courier, September 14) should surprise no one.

The Scottish Government has disproportionately cut local authority funding by 7.1% since 2013 when its own budget from Westminster only fell by 1.3%.

Every year since then Fife Council has had to find “savings”, or cuts, to balance its books, and of course, it has got harder and harder to do so without seriously detracting from the service the council should be offering.

Salami-slicing council operations year in year out is a depressing enterprise which yields diminishing returns.

Everyone suffers: staff absence rates are rising as are customer complaints.

Nevertheless, it is disingenuous of council leaders to keep asserting that the cuts and the looming budget gap are all someone else’s responsibility.

We need a thorough rethink of council services which resets them according to what the third and private sectors could deliver as well or better, and more economically, than the council.

Whistleblowers from transportation recently highlighted how private contractors cost a third less than council squads when carrying out road maintenance.

Fife’s SNP and Labour coalition pretend this is an ideological step too far, even though the council has been outsourcing millions of pounds’ worth of services for years.

Energy, vision and courage are required if we are to match our aspirations to our means.

Linda Holt (Cllr East Neuk & Landward).

Dreel House,



Climate change scepticism?

Madam, – An international opinion poll reveals that half of UK and most European citizens are sceptical about conventional climate alarmism.

Despite the BBC et al giving blanket coverage to the antics of Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion, just 51% of Brits believe mankind is the main cause of climate change.

The majority of Europeans, including two thirds of Scandinavians, are dissenters from the climate “consensus” showing that the general public is proving hard to fool.

The more climate alarmists shriek about emergencies, the more the leftist media shuts down debate and dissent, the less convinced the man in the street is becoming.

The results confirm earlier polls, like the British Social Attitudes Survey, which also found climate scepticism spreading.

According to the Office for National Statistics, we are becoming happier and wealthier so when we are told there is a climate crisis and our belts must be tightened, we naturally assume we’re being conned.

Dr John Cameron.

10 Howard Place,

St Andrews.


Economical with truth

Madam,– Alan Hinnrichs, evidently The Courier’s favourite Commie, is, unfortunately, being realistic in alleging frequent lying by the PM (Letters, The Courier, September 16) and most other politicians.

Surely, it is very well recognised that almost all of them, not only in the democracies, are habitually “economical with the truth” when they see their own and their party’s main priority as maintaining and strengthening their political fortunes, whether or not clashing with their voters’ and the nation’s best interests.

That’s the way politics works in a democracy and even more so in totalitarian states.

Mr Hinnrichs anticipates the most pessimistic of prospects as the outcome of Brexit, but he really cannot know what will happen, nor does anyone else.

We must hope Brexit will bring restoration of our self government, with control of our laws, finances, borders business and trade, while avoiding inclusion in the EU’s objectives of monetary union and a “United States of Europe,” widely distrusted in the continent’s historic nations.

That’s all the honest truth, Mr Hinnrichs!

(Dr) Charles Wardrop.

111 Viewlands Rd West,



Send them homeword?

Madam, – For once I hope politicians, for example Jo Swinson and Willie Rennie, are fibbing and they are indeed in informal talks with Scottish Tories about a “non-aggression pact” to retain the seats they won in 2017 and dislodge the SNP in target seats.

It worked in 2017 when Alex Salmond and Angus Robertson got their jotters.

Obvious targets this time are Peter Wishart – only 22 more Lib Dem or Labour voters need to vote Tory to unseat him – and Stephen Gethins in North East Fife where only three more Tory voters need to back the Lib Dems to unseat him.

The real prize would be ejecting Ian Blackford by pooling the 22,298 Labour, Lib Dem and Tory votes in 2017 and topping his 15,480 votes.

Millions of Scots would rejoice at having him off the telly and welcome this opportunity to send the nationalists “homeward to think again”.

Allan Sutherland.

1 Willow Row,



Lib Dem ‘hypocrisy’

Madam, – Liberal Democrat opposition to the holding of a second referendum on Scottish independence is more than a little bizarre.

While the party calls for a second EU vote on the one hand, it then notes opposition to the holding of a second independence referendum on the other.

This would be the case, even if the SNP on its own or with the Greens wins an outright majority in the Scottish Parliament elections on a platform of holding another such vote.

The logic that somehow people should be allowed another say on Brexit but not on Scottish independence smacks of hypocrisy of the highest order.

It appears that the Liberal Democrats are neither liberal or democratic.

Alex Orr.

2 Marchmont Road,



Scotland’s destiny

Madam, – Willie Rennie from the undemocratic Liberal Party is just another dude disguised under the fake British identity.

After all, no one can be born British.

He hopes the English change their minds over Brexit but if they don’t “tuff titties Scotland, you’re coming too!”.

Those are the types who have been in control of Scotland’s destiny for 300 years.

Is it any wonder we are in a mess?

Rod Selbie.

45 Silver Birch Drive,



A future over the rainbow?

Madam, – Music is a superbly unifying medium at all times, and particularly could be in this disruptive and discordant period of Brexit.

It truly brings folk together frae a’ the airts.

The last night of the BBC Proms is a fine example of this, bringing people as one from all walks of life in the UK and internationally.

For example, Australian Percy Grainger’s Marching Song Of Democracy.

To paraphrase one of Jamie Barton’s songs from Wizard Of Oz, “Somewhere, over the rainbow, there’s a land that we heard of once in a lullaby.”

Could that be where this country is hopefully and miraculously heading?

Ron Caird.

13 East Station Place,