Today’s letters cover care of the elderly, energy supplies, independence referendums, and disabled access to taxis.
Kindness of council care staff just wonderful
Sir,-I was moved by Jim Crumley’s column (June 7).
What was written was not only Jim’s personal view but echoed that of the huge majority of those of us who have experienced the wonderful care extended to our loved ones by the staff of council-run care homes.
Given Fife Council’s proposal to hive off council run homes, we now face the future with uncertainty. Continuation of that special care is in jeopardy.
My mother doesn’t need en-suite facilities, she needs a continuation of the love and dignity that she gets in Northeden House. Any move could be catastrophic.
Mum’s mental frailty prevents her from making informed choices, yet she frequently expresses her appreciation of the kindness of staff.
Thank you, Jim, for a most moving article.
John Smith. Balmblae,Falkland.
Unjust about care blame
Sir,-The article by Jim Crumley (June 7) was rather confused and in places ill conceived. Although it was predominantly about care of the elderly he put the recent Panorama programme on abuse of people with learning difficulties into the mix.
While I am strongly in agreement with him and others about the standards in this particular home, it is wrong to equate this abuse solely with private sector involvement.
How can he conveniently forget the scandals involving abuse in children’s homes run by the public and voluntary sectors, the abuse of a dementia stricken woman in the Ninewells, Dundee, or other whistleblower programmes on abuse in the NHS?
These scandals were perpetrated by well paid individuals in not-for-profit organisations.
Before he berates Fife Council for their policy of outsourcing care homes, he must reflect on what his reaction would be to a massive hike in the council tax to keep this service in-house. Council provision, on the whole, is generally twice as expensive to run.
How can he can sustain an argument in which he scandalises the private sector on the one hand for being profit driven, and on the other highlight the plight of Southern Cross, which is in trouble because it is not making a profit? It is confusing, to say the least.
Some 70% of people in private care homes are council funded. The amount care homes receive for their care is determined by local authorities and because of this they determine the money that is available to pay staff.
Perhaps he might consider asking why those people who choose to receive care in the private sector are discriminated against in the amount of money available to fund their care?
Allan Keir.14 Hanick Terrace,Forfar.
Fossil fuels to the rescue
Sir,-Your editorial (June8) about energy supplies, their costs and prospects, is right on the button.
Despite dire warnings of peak oil, with increasing world demand followed by sharply declining fossil fuel supplies, the “golden age” of plentiful, natural gas seems to be imminent.
Meanwhile, there is time to develop safer power sources like nuclear fusion.
It seems anomalous that energy supply firms are increasing prices, but much of the explanation may lie in costs of renewables, passed on to consumers.
In the same edition, you report “charitable investments” in Clackmannanshire related to wind turbines. Do the locals realise or care where that money is coming from?
Renewables are near-useless and offer no real prospects for our industrial revival. Notions of man-made climate change are increasingly discredited and fossil fuel supplies are dramatically improving.
(Dr) Charles Wardrop.111 Viewlands Road, Perth.
Electorate should be told
Sir,-In his letter today (June 8) Alex Orr refers to Michael Moore’s comments that two referenda would be required for Scottish independence, and questioned why, in the case of Iceland, Montenegro and Southern Sudan, other countries did not need this.
In all those cases the electorate knew what it would be signing up to.
Montenegro knew, for example, that Serbia would become the successor state to the Republic of Serbia and Montenegro, so Montenegro had to apply for admission to the UN and to get individual recognition from other states.
Iceland was independent in all but name; prior to the second world war its foreign affairs were delegated to Denmark and they shared a king, but not much more.
In Southern Sudan, both sides were generally in agreement and most issues were worked out prior to the referendum.
However, the referendum in Montenegro throws up two questions.
First, it’s clear from this precedent that England, Wales and Northern Ireland would be the successor state to the UK: no guarantee, then, of membership of the EU or NATO or other key international institutions.
Second, the Montenegrin referendum had a majority test of 55% imposed by the EU before it would recognise the result. I wonder whether this would be acceptable to the SNP?
(Cllr) Keith Legg.50 Chandlers Walk,Dalgety Bay.
Disabled access not so simple
Sir,-Making taxis wheelchair accessible has come to the fore.
I was on the Committee of Arthritis Care for over 20 years and have been disabled since I was 20.
It is very commendable to have wheelchair access taxis, but probably the need for these is maybe 40% or so, leaving 60% walking disabled and the very elderly who cannot get in or out of these vehicles.
Please listen to the disabled.
Mrs Irene Hinshellwood.15 Beaumont Crescent,Broughty Ferry.
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