Sir, – Would-be wreckers of our Perth City Hall, such as Jim Crumley and some councillors and officials of the local authority fondly imagine that the creation of a civic square would impart modernity and progress to the Fair City.
They neglect some very important points relevant to our wellbeing and prosperity, such as, first, the horrors of a demolition process lasting months if not more, blighting the already direly economically threatened central businesses.
They ignore the existence already of the historic open spaces of the North and South Inches, handy nearby and, thirdly, the fact that the City Hall is a very valuable asset, destruction of which would be a very foolish own-goal.
The hall’s roles in enhancing the prosperity of our city could be hugely exploited by developments, so far lost in the decade of its closure.
Previous correspondents have stressed that the hall is a community centre, which previously allowed citizens and visitors all kinds of beneficial functions, including dances, smaller concerts, for which the large concert hall is not suitable, exhibitions of local and Perthshire geographical and historical features and art.
You recently reported the possibility of developing the City Hall as a cultural centre, bearing in mind the competing draw of the extremely costly new-build Dundee V&A complex.
Such a suggestion must be an attractive opportunity, the development and exploitation of which would increase visitors’ and tourists’ interest and enjoyment of the Fair City.
We surely have, in Perth, people of imagination and talent enough to make such development practical and boost the interest and happiness of the Fair City.
Isabel and Charles Wardrop. 111 Viewlands Road West, Perth.
Negativity of councillors
Sir, – I despair of Perth and Kinross Council’s attitude towards the reuse of derelict buildings. The decision on the market plans for Perth City Hall is to be regretted. If plans had been approved and the market did not succeed, we could say it was worth trying.
Then there is the former Hill Primary School in Blairgowrie.
Ericht Trust’s plans for a visitor centre would have created a splendid asset for the local community and developed tourism in the town.
Clive Luhrs. 9 Vesper Road, Leeds.
Hold vote on future of hall
Sir, – Like your columnist Jim Crumley, Let City Hall fall at last (March 1) I think that, if there is indeed no viable use for Perth City Hall, then things now need to be brought to a conclusion.
Keeping this argument going is an indulgence that we cannot afford, and it draws the attention of Perth and Kinross councillors and politicians away from more pressing issues.
Jim Crumley’s suggestion of a referendum is a good one.
The City Hall is part of the Common Good of Perth.
The Common Good Fund could show some leadership by organising a referendum on the City Hall to coincide with the Holyrood elections on May 5, and get a proper mandate from the people of Perth to either re-develop it properly or knock it down.
Perth is going to struggle to assert itself as a city unless it can create an obvious focus that people can recognise as its centre.
It is time for the City of Perth to look up and see the bigger picture.
If councillors cannot make the decision, let the people of Perth decide.
Victor Clements. Mamies’s Cottage, Taybridge Terrace, Aberfeldy.
Combatants were honoured
Sir, – Reports on the centenary of Edinburgh Airport lay emphasis on its importance during the First World War but it also had its place in the Second World War.
The first German aircraft shot down over the UK was claimed by Spitfires from Turnhouse in October 1939.
More than 10,000 people lined the streets of Edinburgh as the German airmen were buried with full military honours.
Laurie Richards. 100 Crail Road, Cellardyke.
Scientific basis of climate threat
Sir, – I write to correct some misinformation in Clark Cross’s letter (February 29).
His observation on the report in the journal Natural Climate Change are correctly reported.
However, he might be well advised to read many other reports like these two below.
The Washington Post of November 23 2015 quoted Justin Farrell of Yale University who stated that many
Americans were sceptical about climate change because: “Corporate-funded campaigns backed most negative reports produced on the subject…whilst there was no evidence of such co-ordination of funding amongst reports which clearly identified climate change issues”.
Another Washington Post article from the same month quoted Eric Rignot of NASA stating that NASA satellites have clearly identified that Greenland’s glaciers are losing three times the ice mass than that from the whole of Antarctic, which is why the North Atlantic sea temperature around Greenland is considerably colder than it was in the past and is causing our warm wet winters, and flooding here in Scotland.
Or does Mr Cross think these eminent scientists are all wrong?
Why does he think we have had the three warmest and wettest winters on record over the past three years?
Douglas Robertson. 54 Anderson Drive, Perth.
Clear benefits of EU membership
Sir, – As Scotland’s oldest dedicated pro-European campaigning organisation, at the forefront of the fight to keep us in the EU, we welcome the decision by the SNP to commit to presenting a positive case for continued EU membership (March 1).
Like the SNP, we too will be putting forward the positive case for our continued EU membership and call on all political parties in Scotland and the rest of the UK to do likewise.
The benefits of our EU membership are extensive, and need to be set out for the citizens of Scotland. In this context we are delighted that Nicola Sturgeon emphasised that the EU is not just about the financial benefits and jobs that accrue as a result of our membership.
She points out the social protections the EU has established: the right not to be discriminated against on the basis of age, gender, religion, disability, sexual orientation, race or ethnicity; maternity and parental leave entitlement; the right to paid holidays; and the right to work for no more than 48 hours each week.
The EU single market enables a broadening of individuals’ experiences and increases our lifetime potential as human beings. It allows us to travel, live, work and study within the EU with equal rights. Consumers also benefit from access to the wider range of products available, which they can also safely buy online with equal protection across the EU, while greater competition between suppliers helps keep prices down, ensuring best value for money.
Derek Hammersley. Chairman, The EuropeanMovement in Scotland, 2 Walker Street, Edinburgh.
Sir, – Not once have we heard Scottish Labour, Tories or the SNP even discuss the potential advantages of a Scotland out of Europe. Immediate control over our farming and fisheries policy. Together with our new tax powers, Scotland would run its own affairs. Sounds like independence.
Robert Anderson. Kirkton, Arbroath.