Madam, – If I was a novelist I wouldn’t have the gall to make it up.
A minority Scottish Government with such a poor approval rating has to rely on the votes of six Green Party list MSPs to force through a National Budget.
But at what price?
In order to reduce the number of vehicles using petroleum fuels, our Scottish Government has bowed to the Greens by proposing a £400 annual parking charge on each workplace parking spot (except at NHS sites).
The hope is that staff will walk, cycle or take the bus to work.
That makes no sense at all and within the last 24 hours I have come across three examples for my reasoning.
Firstly, to avoid paying the proposed parking charge, a teacher at a Fife secondary living in Perthshire told me they will have to drive into Perth, park their car and then catch a bus.
Once at their destination in Fife, they will then have a mile walk to school.
This person tells me she’d rather give up teaching than pay the parking charge.
Second, a friend with a family business would be due to pay £7,200 in annual parking charges. That would bring the company close to the point of non-viability.
Third, an Aberdeen company which was wise enough to provide almost 50 parking spaces for its employees is going to have to find an extra £20,000, or charge staff.
Does any of this make sense?
Archibald A. Lawrie
5 Church Wynd,
Obsession with Central Belt
Madam, – Once again we see the city obsession of the SNP and the Greens at Holyrood whose latest budget seems to have forgotten the plight of those who live outside the Central Belt.
The workplace poll tax is plainly designed to encourage people to use public transport instead of bringing their cars to work.
The majority of people who live and / or work in rural areas have no choice but to drive, as public transport is so poor. Similarly there might be an argument for a tourist tax to relieve pressure, and bring in much needed funds to maintain the infrastructure used by tourists, in the overheated centres of Edinburgh and Glasgow, but this hardly applies to Fife.
Fife Council is doing everything it can to grow tourism here as it is a major job and wealth creator. Once again, while guests at the Old Course may barely notice a few extra pounds on their hotel bills, it will put off visitors on a budget and damage business at Fife’s countless bed and breakfasts.
It would be good to see the SNP and Labour administration reject these taxes as not right for Fife.
Deputy Leader of Fife Conservative Group.
Cop out over parking charges
Madam, – Scottish workers face a £500-a-year charge to park at work because Derek Mackay, our unqualified Finance Secretary, said he had “no choice” but to give in to the six Green list MSPs who gathered only 13,126 votes.
Then in another cop out, the SNP said it would be up to councils whether they introduced the scheme or not.
Of course they will. Think of all that juicy money to spend on worthless pet projects but not enough to fix the potholes.
Already Scotland’s largest teachers’ union the EIS warned that this levy could force teachers to leave.
This at a time there is a shortage of teachers.
How many more exemptions will councillors find in the public sector leaving the private sector to pay?
138 Springfield Road,
Bin new shift work proposals
Madam, – We have lived in Angus for more than 30 years and have used various council services.
On the whole these services have been good, but the most impressive has been the refuse collection operatives who turn out in all weather to serve the public with good humour.
We are therefore shocked to see the proposals to unilaterally alter their shift patterns.
That will see these loyal servants on their rounds from 6am to 10pm over a two week period, not only in what might be terrible weather but also in the dark, often on narrow country roads. It may be that savings have to be made within Angus Council, but surely not at the cost of making working conditions for poorly paid, loyal staff dangerous.
Hopefully Angus Council will withdraw these ill thought out proposals.
James and Pamala McDougall.
High Street was death knell
Madam, – I have written previously about Kirkcaldy High Street.
I wish to support Cllr Richard Watt who recommends allowing traffic to return to it.
From first-hand knowledge I know that the pedestrianisation of Leven High Street started the process of reducing that street to the miniscule shopping street it has now become.
Madam, – It was very concerning to read about Donald Tusk referring to Brexiteers who promoted Leave without proper planning will have a special place reserved in hell.
Hardly the language of intelligent debate from the EU council president.
Such remarks are unhelpful and only polarise discussions.
I believe a special place in hell is reserved for self-serving politicians wishing to remain on the EU gravy train by backing big corporations and ignoring the wishes of the electorate who clearly backed leave.
If that is the case I suspect hell will be not much different than Westminster – albeit possibly warmer!
117 Simpson Square,
V&A Dundee has lack of grace
Madam, – There have been a number of articles in the press recently about the “dull, drab, out-sized and out-of-place developments encroaching on British public spaces”.
These came to mind when I paid my first visit to the V&A Dundee, a conjoined pair of inverted pyramids in rough concrete on the edge of the majestic River Tay. My father’s cousin, the late James Cameron, who started life as a Courier journalist, wrote of Dundee that “it had a lack of grace so total it was almost a thing of wonder”.
The V&A is sited on superb urban land but with its blocky exterior and clunky, cavernous interior, it’s hardly an elegant adornment to the cityscape.
Rev Dr John Cameron.
10 Howard Place,
Talk country up not down
Madam, – I see the usual suspects of Redfern, Howell and Stevenson are still on their anti-Scotland and SNP agenda.
It would be nice for readers to see something positive from their pens about this wonderful country of ours and the great initiatives put in place by our elected Scottish Government.
It’s such a pity they choose not to engage in the progress Scotland has made in the past 10 years but choose to talk our country down.
I doubt many take their position seriously and only a few give their remarks credence.