Council should have backed lobster shack

The contested toilet block at Old Shore Head, Arbroath.

Sir, – I refer to the efforts by Arbroath businessman John Carswell to create a lobster shack business in the redundant toilet block at Old Shore Head, Arbroath.

I, for one,very much welcome such an innovative idea.

It seems a bit rich for Councillor Richard Moore to suggest bulldozing the building when Angus Council was pleased to take the money from the sale of it.

The building is only an eyesore due to the local authority painting it in vibrant, hallucinogenic colours, which is very much at odds with those buildings around it.

Sensitive refurbishment could indeed render it fit for the purpose intended by Mr Carswell.

It is certainly not suited for a wee art gallery.

In the final analysis, if the applicant is prepared to risk his money to bring a more diverse eatery to the market, he should be supported.

Give this Arbroath entrepreneur a chance to provide the venue where there is no ready alternative valid proposal, certainly none the council were aware of when they washed their hands of it.

Mr AG Walker.
Puddledub Cottage,

Community energy hopes

Sir, – Clark Cross (August 9) criticises Gordon Pay for stating that the future is electric cars but Gordon was right for many practical reasons.

Electric cars will become cheaper than fossil-fuel cars, they are more pleasant to drive, charging will become easier, they will be cheaper to run, and more reliable/cheaper to service because they have hardly any moving parts.

Autonomous cars are coming faster than most people realise and these will be electric for practical reasons.

On another topic, Clark criticises people with solar panels who get paid for the electricity they produce.

It is odd that people are happy to be ripped off by the big energy companies but begrudge their neighbours a tiny piece of the pie.

Surely it is better to pay local householders/farmers to generate energy because that money will go back into the local economy. Community-owned energy generation would be better still.

Andrew Collins.
Ladyburn House,
Skinners Steps,

Benefits of electric cars

Sir, – Since when did saying something’s “good enough” qualify as being ecstatic and waxing lyrical?

Some of your correspondents may benefit from being a bit more calm.

The point is there is no need to panic about electric cars. The year 2040 is 23 years away. Is the percentage of 1994 cars still driving around that high?

There is a rapid rise in renewable electricity that can supply the needs of electric cars.

One correspondent points us to the Digest of UK Energy Statistics (DUKES). If you read it, you’ll see that solar generation increased 38% between 2015 and 2016.

My point about solar on a roof wasn’t that everybody had to have their own. It was it didn’t take a lot to power a car.

As for plugging in being a chore? Yes, I’ve said infrastructure could be improved, and not everyone is able to plug in at home, but now I am going to wax lyrical.

The few seconds it takes to plug in at home, sometimes as little as once a week, is more than compensated in the winter by having a pre-warmed and defrosted car before you are even out the house.

Gordon Pay.
Eden Park,

Hydrogen is fuel solution

Sir, – How naive do the Green Party and some car manufacturers think we are?

Yes, we need a new form of energy to replace fossil fuels but the use of electricity to propel cars is utter madness for many reasons, and, as another reader suggested, hydrogen is the only possible substitute.

Heavy rechargeable batteries are required to power electric cars and those all contain both lithium and cobalt.

Apart from the weight (20 kilogrammes) of those metals in each battery) much of the supply of those metals rests in the hands of the Chinese.

As three quarters of the world supply of lithium is already being used in the tiny number of batteries currently being produced, where are we going to get the vast amounts of this rare metal for every vehicle?

Cobalt is not as rare but we can be sure the moment electric car production starts in earnest the price will rise.

Stand on a bridge over a motorway, look at the volume of traffic below and then consider the cost of setting up electrical charging points in every home and workplace. It will financially cripple not only the National Grid and force all electricity prices to rise exponentially but will impoverish all vehicle owners, with or without electric cars.

Petrol stations will start losing customers and many will shut down as electric cars make them uneconomical.

The question arises as to where farmers, transport companies and rural communities will go to obtain their diesel and petrol supplies. The answer is hydrogen. Let’s forget electric cars.

Archibald A. Lawrie.
5 Church Wynd,

Charging point chaos beckons

Sir, – I would like to take issue with your correspondent Gordon Pay’s concept of a forthcoming electric Utopia, concerning a switch to electric vehicles.

I agree that electrically powered vehicles should have a part to play in the future but surely not to completely replace conventional vehicles, given that there are some 2.5 million cars, lorries, and vans on the road in Scotland and that these will inevitably increase in number.

The fact that charging will take at least 30 minutes, think of the frustration this would cause at the many thousands of charging stations.

This has not been thought through by either Mr Pay or our political masters.

Think also of the loss of considerable taxable revenue for the Government and it becomes clear that any revenue reduction would require to be replaced by additional taxes.

David L Thomson.
24 Laurence Park,

Don’t erode women’s rights

Sir, – With abortion rights in Scotland under attack from an alliance of the Muslim Council, the Free Kirk and the Catholic Church, we should look at the USA.

It has the highest maternal mortality rates in the industrialised world but the Democratic Party is to run anti-abortion candidates in conservative areas.

It is proof of how little value is placed on women’s lives there.They are more than six times as likely to die in pregnancy as those in Scandinavia.

Every woman should be able to decide whether to risk her life by continuing a pregnancy and laws limiting access to birth control, emergency contraception and abortion make that impossible.

Rev Dr John Cameron.
10 Howard Place,
St Andrews.