Sir, – For those of us who supported the creation of a Scottish parliament, it was a delight that Jenny Gilruth MSP hosted an event there to celebrate Glenrothes at 70 (The Courier, June 9).
Thanks too to Linda Ballingall and her colleagues at the Glenrothes Area Heritage Centre and the Kingdom Centre management for helping to make it happen.
It was an evening of nostalgia as well as a chance to look forward at what the town might achieve in the rest of this century.
It had already been given a boost in James Crawford’s BBC documentary series Scotland from the Sky when he praised the former new town’s achievements in urban planning and landscaping.
Although the area is often portrayed negatively in some sections of the media, Mr Crawford did a lot to redress the balance in his programme.
Two other matters should be considered in terms of what has contributed to civic pride in the town.
One was the detailed work done in the 1990s by the Development Corporation Board and its officials to ensure central government provided finance for the Rothes Halls complex.
The other is the work done in the 1970s to ensure that the town became the headquarters for Fife Regional Council – a decision carried by a very narrow margin.
By the 1990s when local government was reformed again there was hardly a murmur of complaint that it should be the centre of the new single tier authority.
Only the wilfully blind would deny the town today faces enormous social and economic challenges today. Those battles won in yesteryear have ensured it is better equipped to cope with them.
Job seekers needn’t look far
Sir, – I agree completely with Ian Roberts from Montrose regarding his solution to the lack of labour for Tayside and Fife fruit farms, but why stop at recruiting the unemployed for fruit farms?
Why not recruit those who are looking for work and on benefits to help cut the grass verges, clear ditches, and probably many other such jobs which have disappeared over the years?
This would help prevent flooding on minor roads and certainly make them safer for road users and so much tidier.
It would also give those who are used to working a sense of purpose and a better prospect for future employment.
At present it seems money only comes to you for nothing if you are on the dole.
Make it a city on the move
Sir, – Dundee city centre is soulless, even on the busiest Saturday night.
Given that the powers that be refuse to put the roads back to where they were in the 1980s, my suggestion is to introduce movement in order to generate some atmosphere.
A water feature spouting from flat paving, lit up at night, would draw the crowds to the city square and provide a place for children to play.
A free land train travelling round the pedestrianised streets picking up and dropping off shoppers and revellers would be a nice addition too.
Judging from recent letters I am not the only one to think something drastic needs to be done.
Much to learn from Europe
Sir, – I am just back from a holiday which took me to a few countries in central and eastern Europe.
My clearest impression is that we need to be learning from some of the good things that our European neighbours practise, including several which are considerably poorer than Scotland.
The transport system is maybe the most obvious. In every other European country, a place the size of Levenmouth would have at least one good rail connection, and perhaps more. Above that, the bus, tram and train stations would be adjoining and the timetables would probably be integrated.
There are often cycle routes separated from traffic and thus many more people using bikes instead of cars. Compare that with what we have now here – no trains, no interconnection between bus and train, virtually no separate bike routes.
On the streets, there’s much less litter or dog mess. The latter is due to much fewer dogs being around but less litter seems to be down to recycling. By returning plastic, cans or glass containers, people can get some credit to use in the supermarket.
Levenmouth, and Britain, has a lot to learn. I seriously doubt Brexit will help in any way.
Keeping track of train promises
Sir, – I have written before on the Levenmouth rail campaign and am still waiting for my questions to be answered.
Where will the proposed Leven station be located?
Will there be ample car parking for those who want to use the railway?
Today on the TV news, one person who was being questioned said the route would be direct from Leven to Edinburgh. I was under the impression that the line from Leven would connect at Thornton and go on the circle route to Inverkeithing.
The cost of a single or day return will be what?
As most of the passengers on the buses have free travel, what would be the benefit of rail travel to OAPs, students, people on benefits and others who can already travel free by bus?
Please, Levenmouth campaigners, start giving us answers to the above.
Grey areas in squirrel debate
Sir, – Leaving to one side the subject of the War of the Bluebells, I would like to reply to the comment (Letters, June 7) that killing grey squirrels will result in the comeback of red ones.
Red squirrels came to the point of extinction in this country before grey squirrels were introduced, so the latter have a bit of an alibi.
The struggles of the reds are due to habitat loss, and no amount of cruelty to their grey cousins will make the reds digest acorns or nest in oak trees – they need a very specific habitat in order to survive, namely extensive pine forests.
Where the habitat is suitable for reds, as in some parts of Scotland, they coexist with greys without undue competition.
Fair hearing for fracking
Sir, – Gordon Pay (Letters, June 11) focuses on the need to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, ultimately to zero, and also to eschew fracking, claiming it is unsafely regulated and is contributing to our CO2 output.
He overlooks the tiny proportion (0.13%) of global CO2 release that comes from Scotland and the benefits and insignificant complications from fracking that have been found in the US experience of harvesting petroleum products using these methods.
America’s CO2 footprint, using fracked gas, has significantly fallen, and also saved it from importing petroleum.
This has meant huge benefits to the national economy and allowed the prospect of the US becoming the largest petroleum miner on Earth.
Only trivial, undesired consequences, of fracking have resulted.
Scotland’s economy, now in dire straits and dependent on remits of money from down south, cannot afford to pass up on the gifts from the Earth represented by fracking, with its inherent benefits to release of greenhouse gases, as well as to our finances.
Dr Charles Wardrop.
Viewlands Road West,
Appeasement failed us before
Sir, – I think it is rather unbecoming of Philip Hammond, a grandee of the Tory party, to criticise Theresa May for having a less-than-conciliatory attitude towards her dealings with EU politicians over Brexit.
We all know how Neville Chamberlain fared with his appeasing attitude in discussion with that little man called Hitler.
A A Bullions.