Sir, – I refer to the letters which appeared in Monday’s Courier concerning the proposed development for a care home at Bankie Park in Anstruther.
The letter from Graham Ellery on behalf of the residents highlighted how Fife Council appear to be pushing ahead with this proposal despite strong objections from local residents.
Also highlighted was the lack of support from local councillors.
Meanwhile, Councillor Holt’s letter went on to explain how councillors have their hands tied as to how they represent their constituents in planning matters.
This situation is far from unique and demonstrates major flaws in the planning system.
In St Andrews the residential area of Abbey Park is being foisted with an application for a 100- bed mid-market hotel and 100-bed student residence with the support of Fife Council’s planning department.
The Abbey Park Action Group was set up with the support of residents to fight this proposal and, like the Bankie Park residents, have found that local councillors are unable to assist in fighting this proposal, as it would debar them from participating in the planning committee decision process.
Further, planning officials are refusing to enter into discussions with the group.
Fife Council must set up a people friendly process to hear the views of local residents when residential areas are affected by a major planning proposal
Eric R Lewis,
9 The Walled Gardens,
Abbey Park Avenue,
Kirk’s profile remains low
Sir, – I read with interest the piece in Monday’s Courier regarding the decline in Christianity in Scotland (“Boost ‘brand awareness’ to halt decline, Kirk told”, Courier, July 30).
It made mention of plummeting church membership.
The article also stated that the Church is now considering advertising their presence on buses and billboards in a bid to persuade more people to join congregations.
However, though I am neither a Kirk member nor attend a church (as a result of my own choice), I found that during six years of being ill and housebound I never once had a visit from the local minister even though I am a native of the parish.
To be fair I did receive a posy of flowers but I could nevertheless perhaps aptly say that indeed the Kirk is not making its presence felt in local communities.
In addition, at one stage, I was in hospital for a week.
During this time it was interesting to note that never once did I see a man of the cloth enter the ward.
18 Garry Place,
Remembering Christ’s plight
Sir, – I was interested to read the story “Church is in Crisis” (Courier, July 30).
The mainstream churches would not need to “boost their brand awareness” like some high street shop if they had remembered over the last few decades that Christ’s life and teaching was not only centred on forgiveness, love and compassion.
In fact it was the life of a courageous, passionate revolutionary who, by example, challenged and still challenges his followers how they can, in a non-violent way, not be afraid to refuse to participate in the rampant culture of deceit, hypocrisy, extortion and other self-indulgent vices.
Such a culture existed then as it does now.
It was not his forgiving love but his courageous non-violent lifestyle-changing challenges to those around him which caused him to be crucified.
The “brand” mark of the church should be to constantly remind Christ’s (would be) followers that “loving forgiveness” is not to be equated with quiet tolerance of the all too evident vices within society, let alone participation in them.
Christ challenges each one of us who follows him to carefully evaluate our changing modern lifestyles and, at times, peacefully but firmly refuse to be part of it.
123 Raeburn Park,
Little respect for golfing fans
Sir, – I enjoyed spending time on a sunny Friday, windy Saturday and rainy Sunday at the Senior Open Championship.
The “crowds” on the Old Course were sparse, perhaps put off by the £30.00 entry, but the golf was really worth watching.
It was hard to tell if the competitors were enjoying themselves as all I saw were pretty well expressionless.
Never a glance or so much as a smile of acknowledgement to those of us supporting the event near the tees or watching from behind the ropes at the edges of the fairways and near the greens.
These are trivial matters but what was really annoying was that apart from the stands at the 17th and 18th greens there were no stands for spectators out on the course.
Coaltown of Callange,
No need for more legislation
Sir, – I read with interest that MSP Andy Wightman is pushing for planning consent to be a requirement for any homeowner wishing to use their property for short term holiday lets, such as Airbnb, rather than assured tenancies.
Might I suggest he instead focuses his efforts towards getting his parliamentary colleagues to review the Private Residential Tenancy introduced in December 2017 instead?
Whilst I agree that the old short assured tenancies had shortcomings, the PRT is too heavily weighted in favour of tenants.
With no time limit whatsoever and few if any effective means to repossess a property that is rightly owned by an individual should the need arise, is it any surprise that many landlords are deserting long term lets in favour of options such as Airbnb which return control to property owners?
Actions have consequences.
The poorly balanced PRT is surely a case in point.
The issue of the reduction in properties available for long term let since the turn of the year needs to be addressed at source within the existing legislation, not through the introduction of more.
Paying for past excess
Sir, – Back in the 60s and 70s when dosh was sloshing around public sector wages shot up.
Perhaps what we are now seeing is this catching up with us, in that they are now unaffordable.
A Fife headteacher has warned schools may have to adopt a four-and-half day week to make ends meet as budget cuts bite (“Schools face tough decisions”, Courier, July 30).
Perhaps it would be worth looking at how teachers’ pay has increased over the decades compared to those in the private sector.
When one then adds on the gold plated pensions on offer right across the public sector and those on early retirement one can begin to see the cause of today’s problems.
50 Victoria Road,
Selfish minority making a mess
Sir, – I refer to the article in Wednesday’s Courier regarding the abandonment of baited hooks on the seashore (“Warning to anglers after dog injured by old hook”, Courier, August 1).
Sadly, this is not an isolated case – and not confined to sea anglers.
We live beside Marlee Loch where I have taken my dogs swimming for many years.
We have had dogs swallowing a baited hook on two occasions.
This resulted in much suffering for the dog and a large vet’s bill for us.
Fortunately, on both occasions, the dogs survived.
However, without a prompt operation this would have been fatal.
People are extremely happy to take advantage of “the right to roam” but seem not to care about the “with responsibility” part of the law.
We regularly have to pick up litter, including human excrement and dirty paper.
We have had trees decimated by chainsaws.
Fires are lit in dry weather near trees and, on one occasion, we had a gate removed from it’s hinges and burnt as firewood.
We are fortunate in that the road does not run right beside the loch.
Clunie is not so lucky and the mess there has to be seen to be believed.
Signs are displayed forbidding camping, but this makes no difference.
Will people ever learn?
Wester Kinloch Farm,