Sir, – Murdo Fraser is a fine historian, as well as an MSP, and his suggestion that Perth City Hall should house the Stone of Scone is an interesting one, though quite how it would be funded is another matter.
It would seem to me that the problem with Perth City Hall is not so much the building as the council which owns it.
The B-listed city hall is in a sound structural state, and the only reason it isn’t being brought into some sort of use would seem to be the obstructiveness of those politicians and officials who have been peddling unconvincing andsynthetic excuses as to why it should be torn down.
As Perth Theatre is closed for a refurbishment which might take up to three years, a highly-respectedcompany of actors and support staff was told to continue operating in pubs and church halls, so determined was the local authority to ensure that the obvious solution – using Perth City Hall – was avoided.
Someone should write a play about it.
The food hall solution along the lines of Boston’s Faneuil Hall is also a glaringly obvious one.
The Tay Valley and its surroundings has one of the finest salmon rivers in Europe, hill farms of grass and heather-fed lamb, producing meat of the highest quality, some of Britain’s finest soft-fruit farms around Blairgowrie, a dairy farm which produces award-winning ice cream, and no shortage of deer and other game in the surrounding countryside.
An enlightened council would be welcoming such a development, not sabotaging it.
It should not be forgotten that it was the council itself which initially entered into a disastrous relationship with a paper tiger company which lacked the resources to carry out its promised scheme.
Why hasn’t it been held accountable for this? Perhaps a public inquiry would help to clear the air, concentrate a few minds, and alloweveryone to move on.
David J Black. 6 St Giles Street, Edinburgh.
Folly of ruling out fracking
Sir, – What a ridiculous spat in Holyrood overthe future of fracking (March 4).
It really is the sortof thing that givespre-election jousts abad name.
Has Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale really thought through the implications ofidentifying her partywith the case against the technology?
If so she will be ignoring not just the lessons of recent history but perhaps even the weight of scientific evidence.
If an independent assessment of thatevidence shows no major environmental threat then she will not just have egg on her face.
She risks a serious argument with thetrade unions and their members at theGrangemouth complex and local businesses and communities.
In 2013 a seriousnegotiation between owner Jim Ratcliffe,then First Minister Alex Salmond and Unitegeneral secretary Len McCluskey, helped secure a deal to save the plant.
It was realpolitik.
Discussion amongpeople of real experience helped secure Scotland’s industrial sinews.
Some of thatstatesmanship should be repeated by Ms Dugdale and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
The public are unlikely to be impressed by crude slogans over fracking simply because a Scottish Parliament election is in the air.
They will be impressed by practical policies to secure our economic future.
Bob Taylor. 24 Shiel Court, Glenrothes.
Don’t single out bull terriers
Sir, – Your report on the attacks on guidedogs by other dogs isconcerning.
Years of training and a lifeline for a blind person can be wiped out in an instant.
It is up to dog owners to have the dog on a lead and under controlbut why write that26.4% of attacks are by Staffordshire BullTerrier types?
By deduction, 73.6% of these attacks are by other dogs. Give a dog a bad name…..
Hugh Wylie. 1 Guthrie Street, Carnoustie.
Clean up our city centres
Sir, – I note the article (March 3) “nuisanceseagulls”.
The gulls, or for that matter any other wild birds are not the problem but rather the local population who continue to dump waste food after their evening drinking bouts and also the local councils for allowing the waste plastic bin liners full of food to be dumped outside food premises at night.
It is only natural for birds and animals toforage for easy meals.
The problem lies with people and their dirty habits, not the so-called nuisance gulls.
I am from the Birkhill area which is not aproblem, as it is a fairly clean and tidy part of Angus.
The problem lies incity centres aroundScotland.
When there is aculture of fast-foodoutlets along with late-night drinking, waste and left-over food will be thrown around when not required.
Birds and animalscannot be blamed in any way for taking advantage of easy pickings.
To get rid of theproblems the answer is easy. Clean up the mess in our cities acrossScotland.
Brian Reilly. Clinkerheel Drive, Birkhill.
Money pit of Europe
Sir, – How pleasing it was to read letters from your correspondents Dan Arnott and John Steel and see that other people feel that theEuropean Union is out of control.
At last it may berecognised that thebigger the organisation, the higher the chanceof fraud and mismanagement going undetected or treated as untouchable.
Football, athletics and our own MPs have at last been made to account for their actions.
How about the accounts of theEuropean Union being properly audited anddisplayed?
Why do we continue to pour good money into an even deeper well?
RL Morris. Lea Park, Kenmore Street, Aberfeldy.
Cliches make me sick as parrot
Sir, – Here is a message to all politicians.
The phrase “hard-working family” has been used in speeches and press releases so often that it is attracting the attention of the cliche police.
It must also bepretty depressing topeople who, throughno fault of their own, and despite being conscientious citizens, do not fit within that cosydefinition.
Gordon Cook. Gowanlea, Friockheim.
Thirsty night at concert hall
Sir, – I very nearlyhad an enjoyableevening on Friday at Perth Concert Hall butat approximately8.15pm the bar ranout of draught beer,only then offeringbottled beer, wine or spirits.
I wonder if they felt compelled to recoup the loss of undersold tickets through the exaggerated prices of their bottled beer?
It was fairly obvious that the balcony was less than half full.
I always wondered why lots of bands drove past Perth to then play Dundee venues.
Now I know.
Norry Christie. Carpenters Corner, Upper Granco Street, Dunning.
Invest in Leven railway link
Sir, – The report in Thursday’s Courier that the final cost of the replacement Forth road bridge, the Queensferry Crossing, is coming in at £1 billion below theinitial estimatesurely offers a unique opportunity for theScottish Government to invest in several long overdue rail improvements in Fife.
Reinstating the five-mile stretch of railway to Leven providing direct hourly Fife Circle services to Edinburgh would require no more than 5% of this £1billion.
The technical reports and strong positivecase are alreadycompleted so we are just awaiting a decision.
Investing in otherconnections such as the Forth Rail Link (Dunfermline to Stirling), Newburgh station and perhaps even the St Andrews link would be justified, all of which would improve access for sizeable communities presently excluded and, above all, reduce congestion on the existing road network.
What is Transport Scotland and theScottish Government still waiting for?
(Dr) Allen Armstrong. Secretary, LevenMouth RailCampaign (LMRC), 36 College Street, Buckhaven.