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Plight of elderly Kinross residents ignored

Plight of elderly Kinross residents ignored

Sir, – I refer to your article, Layout leaving elderly trapped says community councillor (March 10).

In February I offered to collate the views of local residents on the new High Street in Kinross.

This I did and reported to the last meeting of the community council.

My report was also published in the community newsletter.

Within the survey, 82% of respondents said they wanted a formal crossing such as a pelican or zebra crossing.

Many other issues received high percentages; speeding cars, lack of understanding of the shared space concept, inappropriate parking and its effect on disabled people, better signage… but it was the lack of a crossing that concerned people most.

The quality of any society or community is often judged on how it treats it elderly population and in this case it is the elderly and frail that are affected most.

Consequently, Perth and Kinross Council should immediately change its stance.

In response to your article the council was quoted: “The installation of a traffic controlled crossing is not being considered at present”.

This is totally unacceptable. People are frightened.

Let us remember that this time next year our four councillors will be asking for our votes. What a bonus

for one of them if they could say in their leaflet: “I got a crossing installed”.

Let us get this sorted.

David A MacKenzie. Vice Chair, Kinross Community Council.

Curious aspects of parking bill

Sir, – The Footway Parking and Double Parking (Scotland) Bill is in many respects sensible but may I suggest that the proposal to ban parking on the pavement be a matter for decision for local councils in respect of each pavement.

There are some pavements in villages where it is safer for cars to park with one wheel on the pavement, leaving room for pedestrians and wheelchairs.

I cannot resist asking why we have changed the word pavement to footway. Perhaps one fewer letters saves paint and ink.

Garry Barnett. The Garden House, Campsie Hill, Guildtown.

Concern over mail sacking

Sir, – I wish to express my concern regarding Royal Mail’s attitude towards employment laws and the sacking of postman David Mitchell, an employee of 27 years’ service.

Royal Mail’s refusal to reinstate Mr Mitchell, despite being ordered to do so by an employment tribunal judge, leaves me questioning why employment laws can be waived without challenge.

If major employers such as Royal Mail can disregard a judge’s ruling then its employees should rightfully be concerned.

It is no surprise that Cupar Post Office workers have twice taken strike action with further pending action due in other areas around Scotland.

Having attended Mr Mitchell’s employment tribunal as an observer, it was obvious Royal Mail was negligent and incapable of carrying out any sort of proper investigation.

More importantly, that was the tribunal judge’s opinion.

He made this clear by stating that Royal Mail had breached its duties by failing to adequately investigate the allegation of the claimant before reaching a decision to dismiss him.

I wonder if any of the Royal Mail management will lose their jobs after breaching their duties?

Richard Rogala. 6 Lumsden Park, Cupar.

Perth has its priorities wrong

Sir, – I was interested to read (March 8) about potholes in Courier Country.

I have reported a huge one just outside the entrance to Oakbank Community Centre in Perth.

It could easily burst a tyre or damage a car wheel.

On walking in, you could easily trip, fall and injure yourself.

Many groups of people including the very old and the very young use this building.

Instead of spending a lot of money on daft schemes like refurbishing the council offices in High Streetand upgrading our theatre, Perth and Kinross Council should look after the infrastructure of our Fair City.

Isabel Wardrop. 111 Viewlands Road West, Perth.

St Andrews rail claims flawed

Sir, – I see Jane Ann Liston is once again using flawed and exaggerated claims in her campaign torestore a rail line to St Andrews.

St Andrews has the ruins of a cathedral, not a working minster with clergy, offices of an archbishop and visiting pilgrims.

The Open comes to St Andrews on a rotational basis; therefore it cannot be compared to Wimbledon which hosts a championship on an annual basis.

Colin Topping. Crathes Close, Glenrothes.

Invest bridge savings wisely

Sir, – I am sure there will be endless suggestions for utilising the forecasted £1 billion underspend from the Queensferry Crossing on alternative projects such as the re-opening of the Levenmouth rail branch line which couldwell benefit the local economy.

However, for Ms Liston of the St Andrews rail campaign to claim that there is an overwhelming case for investing in a new rail link into St Andrews really beggars belief.

As Ms Liston points out, the town is internationally renowned, particularly in relation to golf, education and tourism.

However, she fails to mention the important fact that St Andrews already has the benefit of a mainline rail connection at Leuchars Station some 10 minutes by road from this famous historic town.

There is no valid justification whatsoever for massive capital investment on what would be an unnecessary new rail link into a town which already enjoys a thriving economy.

Notwithstanding the recent announcement that Scotland’s finances have plunged almost £15 billion into the red, I hope that common sense will prevail and that any surplus from the Queensferry Crossing project underspend (should it still be available) is invested on worthwhile and urgently-needed causes.

Allan Chalmers. 7 Links Crescent, St Andrews.

Folly of named person law

Sir, – It is no surprise that the SNP’s ill-conceived named person scheme is facing a legal challenge, Supreme Court hears appeal over named person legislation (March 9).

We all want the best for our children, and to see public resources used effectively to protect children genuinely at risk.

But introducing a state guardian into the lives of all families with a remit encompassing well-being, opens up a huge scope for varying interpretations across the country.

The point when positive care and support slips into interference is not clearly defined in the legislation.

Rather the controlling instincts that led to its development favour a belief that the state really does have a role to play in every family rather than just those in which children are at risk.

In many walks of life this Scottish Government has pushed ahead with its we-know-best approach, ignoring those who do not agree with it.

It has certainly gone a step too far here in applying this approach to families.

The QC for the Scottish Government opened by saying we should not assume that those implementing this legislation will overreach.

Yet that is the point.

This new law does not have the safeguards to prevent that happening, rather it simply assumes that those wielding these new powers will do so consistently and to good effect.

It does not want to contemplate that named persons could do more harm than good.

Much as we might hope that the Supreme Court will find a way to stop this bad law going ahead, we might yet have to wait for a change in government at Holyrood before this poorly thought through initiative can be repealed.

Keith Howell. White Moss, West Linton.