Sir, – The story on Fife Council scrapping the Adopt A Street plan is a terribly sad reflection on the local authority and its workforce.
The streets and parks of every community I see are drowning in a sea of unsightly litter and waste dumping.
The small and declining council workforce which is mainly responsible can do only so much and there are fewer waste bins as well as charges for special collections, which make the situation worse.
Even if citizens in every street across Fife took part, there would still be plenty to do to keep the place clean.
I know a few people that already do this work in Levenmouth and their efforts are greatly appreciated by local people but are only a drop in the ocean.
There is no public safety issue by the way. If the union really has blocked rolling out this scheme, it just shows a petty and self serving view that undermines the communities they are supposed to serve.
If Fife Council has dropped this simple scheme, it shows them to be timid and lacking any will to tackle a real and growing problem.
As if that’s not bad enough, I’ve heard from three local groups that are not allowed any more to take their waste from public litter picks to the local council dumps, even though this is helping keep the streets and parks a little cleaner.
So at a time when we need more people stepping forward to improve their local area, all that seems to be happening is more obstruction. Are other councils as poor in this?
Oiseau much better than us
Sir, – Regarding your article, I am also disappointed to read that Fife Council has decided to scrap the Adopt A Street scheme which would have encouraged local communities to form their own litter-picking squads.
It is a missed opportunity as a way for local people to be more aware of the environment and how important it is to teach our children to take a pride in their neighbourhood and not litter the streets in the first place.
Perhaps if the council and unions cannot agree that we should all learn to be responsible caretakers of our small patch of this beautiful planet that we live on maybe we can adopt the French way of cleaning their parks as per another article I read recently.
An unlikely new group of freelance employees have been added to a French workforce.
At the Puy dy Fou theme park in western France, six birds have been employed to collect and dispose of garbage, mainly cigarette ends and other small pieces.
The birds take the collected trash to special bins where they can receive bird food in exchange for depositing the litter.
“The park is very clean, park president Nicolas de Villiers said.
“The purpose of the crows is to educate the people, to open their minds, to think OK, the birds are able to do something that we are much more able to do than them, so we should do this by ourselves.”
Hedge hazard a long time coming
Sir, – I have just read the article about the funding required to cut the Meikleour Hedge and I am astounded how the landowner can claim that it cannot be afforded by his estate .
If it is 20 years since it was last cut that would mean this is equivalent to £5,000 per year which he or the local authority should have set up as a sinking fund to pay for the current cost of cutting, £100,000.
A sum of £5,000 is surely a cost no different on a pro rata basis from what anyone who has a garden hedge, has had to pay each year for getting their hedge cut.
A landowner always has to consider the safety of a tree/hedge which becomes unstable on a road and threatens to cause an accident, especially if the he or she has been told that it could become unstable if left unattended for 20 years.
This hedge, being a tourist attraction – albeit one that needs to be marketed better with signs in the layby – not only benefits the local community but will also benefit the Meikleour Hotel, which is owned by the estate, I understand
Both Perth and Kinross Council and the landowners/property owners need to solve their problems so that we do not keep having situations where a landowner/property owner lets a derelict situation arise – as has been the case with St Paul’s Church, Perth.
Throughout Perth city and Perth and Kinross, we have many tree problems with some roof tops looking like the start of a forest.
Helping hand for hidden gem
Sir, – So, the wonderful Meikleour Beech Hedge needs an expensive trim. Let’s hope it gets one and preserves its pre-eminence as the world’s largest hedge.
It is a hidden gem. There are no notices or display boards at or near the hedge to inform the passing public.
VisitScotland and/or Perth and Kinross Council should give it much-needed publicity and at the same time financial assistance for its maintenance.
Cruelty fuelled by food trade
Sir, – I was already acquainted with the cruelty involved in the transport of unwanted male calves to the continent, so chose not to watch the recent harrowing BBC documentary on the subject.
Calves naturally suckle their mothers for up to a year, and maintain a strong bond with her for several years. In commercial dairy farming, the calves are removed from their mother within hours of birth, causing severe distress to both the cow and her offspring.
Anyone who has heard a cow bellowing for her lost calf will be left in no doubt about the extent of her distress.
Some will keep re-visiting the place where they gave birth, searching in vain for the missing calf, and calling loudly.
Every sound that an animal makes is a form of communication, not meaningless noise. A human faced with having her child forcibly removed from her would react in exactly the same way. Maternal instincts are powerful.
There is no “humane”way of separating these mothers from their young. Nor is there any humane way of transporting the calves, packed together in trucks which transport them hundreds of miles to their deaths in slaughter houses.
As long as there is a market for veal, this cruelty will continue.
Skip changes not so smart
Sir, – Add together the cost of MPs’ salaries and expenses, MSPs’ salaries and expenses plus the massive upkeep of a large building in central Edinburgh to the salaries and expenses of Members of the European Parliament and the total will come to many millions of pounds.
Then at a local level we have Angus Council, with the upkeep of a large modern building in Forfar housing many public servants with large salaries and local councillors with their salaries and expenses.
And yet, between these supposedly clever people, no one has the brains to keep the local skips at Carnoustie open to general waste from February 2019.
Doesn’t it make you think?
Thomas G Mitchell.
Pride in our health service
Sir, – How I agree with John Grinyers’ praise of Ninewells hospital (The Courier September 12).
My husband and I have both had excellent treatment there – myself in 2008 and him in recent weeks.
All of the staff are kind efficient and professional.
Instead of moaning about the NHS we should be proud of it.
Viewlands Road West,
Reality killed the TV star
Sir, – As the proliferation of reality shows continues unabated,with,what are now considered “celebrities”(and wasn’t Andy Warhol correct with his 15 minutes of fame quote?) surely that rumbling sound you can hear is John Logie Baird turning in his grave.