Today our letter writers claim local residents feel ignored by local government, and comment on subjects from the Dundee Victoria and Albert project, to care for the elderly and the Israeli blockade of Gaza.
Local opinions ignored in Perth and Kinross Sir,-It is surprising that it has taken Councillor Michael Barnacle of Kinross so long to realise that his views on the sale of Kinross Town Hall would be ignored by Perth and Kinross Council.
Anyone who has complained about the council’s plans knows that criticism is not welcome, public meetings are not held on contentious subjects and change will not willingly happen.
A few council leaders seem to take all of the decisions in Perth and Kinross Council and there is a total lack of democratic transparency to their decision making.
It is unfortunate that elected members have no say and seem unaware of what is happening to Perth and Perthshire. The answer, of course, lies with the voters at the next round of council elections.
Robin Valentine.3 Burnbank,Bridge of Earn.
Fife elderly deserve better
Sir,-Many people will be furious that the debate about the future of residential care homes in Fife is being conducted as some sort of accounting exercise (October 18).
It is the welfare of some of the most vulnerable elderly people in the region we are talking about here.
We are entitled to be angry too at the limited range of options put forward by Fife Council officials.
This should not be seen as a private-sector investment project subject to rigorous cost-benefit analysis.
It should be about the best way to manage an important and sensitive social service based on a mixed economy of care.
Simply to close all the existing council homes and transfer the residents to private sector or not- for-profit operations spoils this principle.
Local authority residential homes should be models for the rest of the sector.
Having said that, a lot more could be done to keep down staffing costs.
Equally, it is difficult to believe that some of the buildings South Parks House and McLure House in Glenrothes for example do not come up to the standards set by the Care Commission.
Are these standards being set at too high a level? Even if they are not, I cannot imagine that, with some imagination, the resources could not be found for the necessary improvements, possibly involving private-sector finance.
Residential homes are part of the fabric of many communities within Fife.
If they are to close, council officials should come up with a satisfactory explanation.
The families of those affected deserve nothing less.
Bob Taylor.24 Shiel Court,Glenrothes.
Embrace radical design
Sir,-While I have my doubts about the economic realities of the V&A project in Dundee, I fail to see the architectural point Bruce Connelly (October 14) is trying to make.
Would he rather people did not try to create new and exciting building forms using our expanding technological know-how? Instead, he seems to propose we focus on creating pastiches of much older forms. A miserable aesthetic trap if I ever saw one.
I agree that much of Dundee’s architectural history has been sadly lost, mostly, it seems, in a quite literally criminal manner.
If we are not attempting to destroy a proven beauty from the past merely to put up something new, then let us move on and push the envelope in the space available.
Daryl Smith.162 Main Street,Invergowrie.
An obsession with bird life
Sir,-Even if, heaven forbid given the current economic climate, the Dundee V&A annexe never gets built, the debate it has sparked is surely worth the effort.
Many of the comments though, on the designs at the opening exhibition and on the internet, reinforce my belief that the people in this city are obsessed with seagulls. When they are defacing our windows, crowding out our valuable rooftop spaces, stealing our Big Macs and terrorising our populace, we cry out with indignation.
When they are removed by the local authority we are appalled at this senseless attack on our local wildlife.
Now it seems no architect is fit to erect a building here unless they have gull-proofed their design as if Dundonians were knee-deep in guano.
It is crazy you would think we lived near the sea.
Alistair Wilson.Seafield Road,Dundee.
Sir,-I support Steve Clark’s advice to Joe FitzPatrick, Dundee West MSP, to stay home and not to join the next aid flotilla to Gaza (October 15).
I cannot agree with Mr Clark that the blockade is a bad thing.
This legal blockade is to prevent rocket-making material from reaching those he correctly calls “the very bad people of Gaza” and so reduce the violence.
Much has been said about Israel’s disproportionate response to the murder of Israeli citizens.
But as the rockets and violence from Gazans continued, the Israeli retaliation was clearly not proportionate enough.
It has been said that if the Arabs put down their weapons there would be no more violence.
Conversely, if the Israelis put down their weapons there will be no more Israel.
The history of Arab violence against Israel, including four aggressive wars, since it was established by United Nations mandate, more than proves the point.
Andrew Lawson.9 MacLaren Gardens,Dundee.
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