Sir, – One thing is completely missing from the announcement that a ban on new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars will be brought forward to 2035 at the latest – any indication of where the electricity is going to come from to power all the replacement electric vehicles.
If all our vehicles were to be electric we would need to more than double UK electricity generation.
Current annual UK electricity production is around 335 TWh (TeraWatt hours).
The energy in all the petrol and diesel we use annually is around 475 TWh.
If it were partial, and only the domestic and light commercial vehicles went electric, that would still require about 375 TWh each year.
If in addition we replace all our domestic gas usage with electricity we will need around another 510 TWh.
In other words, we will need to more than triple our electricity generation.
At the same time we have spent years demolishing fossil fuel power stations, which provide round-the-clock baseload electricity, and replacing them with wind turbines which can only provide expensive part-time electricity.
Nor are we building lots of nuclear power stations, which provide a low carbon alternative source of caseload power.
The unavoidable conclusions are that a carbon-neutral economy is a cynical and dangerous fantasy.
6 Inveralmond Grove,
Rates should apply to all schools equally
Sir, – In reply to the letters on non-domestic rates law changes, and the affect on the independent schools, (The Courier, February 5), from Mr Wilkin and Mr Linberg.
There can be no disputing the basic processes of wood work, “measure twice and cut once”, which is a valuable lesson we all learned.
I also remember being taught by my mother that if I wanted something special, I had to save for it or do without something else – another valuable lesson. In this instance, independent schools may well provide a valuable education.
However, public schools also do this, and under much more trying circumstances, yet are not exempt from non-domestic rates.
Hence, teachers at public schools frequently supplement their school stationery cupboards during weekly visits to their local supermarket.
The Barclay review from 2017 concluded clearly and I quote, ‘ALEOs (Arms Length Executive Organisations) should compete on a fair and level playing field with commercial providers of culture and leisure services, just as independent schools should suffer business rates in the same way that maintained schools do’.
The writers also seem to imply that with no independent schools, these “high flying pupils” would not develop or indeed exist.
This is a totally flawed narrative and an excuse to support the status quo.
The Tory government has been lambasting the current educational conveyor belt of independent school, a degree at Oxbridge, then entry into civil service, as being a system that self-perpetuates.
Remember the quote from Sir Humphrey, from the BBC’s Yes Minister programme.
He said, regarding the civil service, “Permanence is Power”.
10 Hillpark Drive,
Woe betide the West End
Sir, – After reading the article in The Courier, “West End parking row could end up in courts”, (January 31), it seems the inhabitants of Dundee’s West End are about to experience what has been happening in Angus for over a year, after charges were put into operation in our car parks.
With the parking charges, residents can look forward to the following:
The surrounding side streets will fill up, stopping residents getting near their own homes, while the car parks remain empty.
Then people will stop coming to the shops, as they cannot get parked near them.
The footfall will drop in the area, forcing businesses to close, as has happened in the whole of Angus.
As for the council and councillors listening to your problems, forget it. They are like a bunch of ostriches, they bury their head in the sand, take their salaries and expenses, and hope the problems go away.
Having stayed in Carnoustie for over 50 years, I am appalled at how a once-thriving community, which was a great place to live, developed into a ghost town.
You have been warned.
7 Links Avenue,
Care homes for East Neuk
Sir, – I am 87 years of age and therefore interested in care homes in the East Neuk of Fife.
We are quite often reminded that people are living longer, consequently the demand for care must inevitably increase.
The populace of this area were, through The Courier, informed that Ladywalk House, Anstruther, was under consideration in regard to upgrading, extending or replacement.
I recall that the use of land in a particular area was problematic and, to date, I am unaware of any progress.
Should a new building be necessary, I am confident that a suitable site between Crail and Elie can be found, if the authorities have a genuine desire to do so, and the impetus to proceed.
17 Viewforth Place,
Picture this in a Scottish court
Sir, – Picture if you will a Scottish sheriff court, in which the sheriff is about to conduct a jury trial. But the fiscal stands up and addresses the court thus.
“Apologies My Lord, but the jury has already been selected and cannot be changed, and has declared in advance that it will return a verdict of not guilty. Further, the jury has ordered that no witnesses are to be called in support of the Crown.”
Ah, well, that’s American politics for you.
Ridiculous blue badge law
Sir, – I read, with some amusement, Neil Henderson’s article on a disabled bay for a deceased man (The Courier, February 6).
I am having issues with Fife Council over the placement of my disabled bay. Interestingly, these bays are not address specific, and can be used by anyone with a blue badge. Only non-blue-badge holders are banned from using them.
I tried to contact Transport Scotland about this ridiculous situation but they failed to respond. Why should any householder go to the hassle of getting one of these bays if any badge holder can legally use them?
History of a cathedral
Sir, – Regarding your report on the history of Brechin Cathedral (The Courier, February 4).
As the last minister of the cathedral, who has researched the cathedral’s history, can I point out that Dubhoc and Duthoc were separate individuals. Dubhoc likely hailed from Monifod (today’s Monifieth) whereas Duthoc is associated with Tain. You can read a full account of the cathedral’s history in my book Writ in the Stones.
Rev Dr Roderick J Grahame.
Lead Minister of Camperdown and Lochee Ministry.