Sir,- Does the prospect of new retail developments at the Queensgate estate and the Saltire Centre in Glenrothes pose a real threat to the viability of the town’s Kingdom Centre (November 20)?
I understand theconcerns of Councillor Vettraino and others, but I think it is important to look at the wider picture.
New retail unitsshould be seen ascomplementary to, and not in competition with, that centre.
It is quite possiblefor Matalan at Saltire to coexist with Dunnes in the main shoppingcomplex, to take just one example.
Arguably the broader Glenrothes town centre stretches from Asda at Queensgate right up to St Columba’s Church in the west.
It needs ambition and vision to make it thrive.
In any case the Kingdom Centre is about more than just shopping.
Rothes Halls is the only community and theatre facility of its kind to be contained within a covered centre in the east of Scotland.
A lot more couldbe made of restaurant facilities within thecomplex.
The presence of aheritage centre therejust reinforces the point about the KingdomCentre serving a number of purposes.
One of the mainchallenges it faces is the presence of the old Co-op building at the east end, which does nothing to enhance the image of the area.
It is arguably a bigger threat to the centrethan the prospect ofadditional retail units around it.
So let’s not talk about these units as putting the “nail in the coffin ofGlenrothes town centre”.
Let’s see them as a chance to extendchoice and prosperity in a town that faces so many challenges.
Bob Taylor, Shiel Court, Glenrothes.
Thoroughly vetted refugees
Sir, – On behalf of the caring people of Scotland it is suggested that Derek Farmer (November 19) should be ashamed of himself for using recent events to have a pop at the Scottish Government for taking in the first tranche of Syrianrefugees.
He goes on to forecast doom and gloom and has clearly failed to realise that these people are part of the UK Government’s plan to take in 20,000 refugees who have been long-term residentsof refugee camps inLebanon.
Those involved are part of the UK Government’s vulnerablepersons programme and were thoroughly vetted both by UK Home Office officials and the UNHigh Commissioner for refugees before being leaving their camps in Jordan.
By suggesting that the Scottish Government have not made it clear that it has carried outsatisfaction checksfor accepting these potentially-dangerous souls, he is calling into question the capabilityof officials from both a government which he,as a self proclaimedconservative, supports and the United Nations to select the right people to warrant inclusion ina humanitarianprogramme.
It would benefit Mr. Farmer to avail himself of the tolerance heprescribes for therefugees to warrant a stay in our country.
Allan MacDougall, Forth Park, Bridge of Allan.
Syria is no place for SNP games
Sir,- We must hope, if there’s a House ofCommons vote on taking UK military action in Syria, the SNP willdemonstrate moreintegrity in the House than it has hitherto.
Nicola Sturgeon sitson the fence re Syrian air strikes, possibly waiting to get a better sense of public opinion.
But it’s her MPs’ response that matters.
Alex Salmond demands a UN mandate before he’ll support direct British military involvement.
Fair enough perhaps, though he’ll certainly be aware Russia could veto.
Since May we’vewitnessed constitutional game playing at Westminster from the SNP, or petty point scoring on such comparativelytrivial matters as fox-hunting and Sunday opening in England in fact, anything to have a dig at the Tory Government.
British military involvement in theMiddle East howeveris on a completelydifferent scale.
Nationalist MPs must vote in a way they genuinely believe will contribute towards ending the Syrian conflict, and not merely to undermine David Cameron or artificially create division within the UK.
Martin Redfern Royal Circus Edinburgh.
Time to turn to nuclear energy
Sir,- The real purpose of so-called smartelectricity meters is surely rationing orvariable charging,
and the mere idea ofthat is a disgrace.
Electricity should now be in low-cost continuous supply.
When nuclear fission was first used to generate electricity in 1953, the possibility of anunlimited cheap supply of this clean and efficient fuel became a reality.
So why did we put a limit on the use of that genius technology in favour of wood burning and windmills, thatproduce unreliable and expensive electricity that many can no longer afford?
Malcolm Parkin, Gamekeepers Road, Kinnesswood, Kinross.
Good for one, bad for another
Sir,- I refer to your report of Fife Council’s executive committee’s decision to agree a land deal that could result in the creation of a pub/restaurant and travel hotel in the north of Kirkcaldy (November 19).
In the report, Kirkcaldy North councillor Neil Crooks is quoted as saying this is great news because people could stop off in Kirkcaldy rather than travelling on to Glenrothes.
Perhaps great news for Kirkcaldy, Councillor Crooks, but not so great for Glenrothes, whose economy has taken asubstantial battering in recent months and whose travel and tourism industry will be damaged further by this latestproposal.
Is it not time that our councillors looked at the wider picture in an attempt to end thisneedless and damaging rivalry between neighbouring towns?
Bob Hutchison, 2 Rosemount Crescent, Glenrothes.
The myth of global warming
Sir,- The environmental movement lost its innocence just before the 2009 Copenhagen summit when the Climategate whistle-blower outed the nefarious activities of key scientists.
It was not fatal because the global warming hypothesis had morphed into a fundamentalist green religion, but no responsible legislator was going to take new claims at face value.
Thus a bombshell study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) refuting the existence of global warming caused international derision.
The US government’s House Science Committee has subpoenaed internal communications and emails at the NOAA after whistle-blowers raised concerns about a rush to publish.
It is alleged that data was manipulated to advance President Obama’s agenda and the study’s release timed to coincide with the administration’s new limits on emissions from coal plants.
Dr John Cameron, 10 Howard Place, St Andrews, KY16 9HL.
Unfair pricing at Perth cinema
Sir,- I am really pleased that in 2017-18 Perth will have more competition for its leisure facilities with plans to open amultiplex cinema and other leisure facilities on the Thimble Row car park.
I was exceptionally annoyed and disappointed when I went to purchase a ticket at Perth Playhouse to be told by the cinema that as it was an in-service training day for Perth schools that the peak price was applicable all day Thursday andFriday instead of peak ticket prices only in the evening during the week.
I feel that was exceptionally unfair not only to people who do not have children and are being penalised, but also to people who do have children and are looking for a day out.
In these financially hard times it is exceptionally unfair for thecinema to put prices up on those days.
How on earth arepeople who don’t have children to know when in-service training days are?
Since the Imax cinema has been built prices at the cinema have rocketed, especially for food and drink, to excessive levels, and of course, with no other venue in Perth customers are left with no choice.
I will be going to Dundee in the future for my cinema outings and hope with the new venue coming fairer pricing will ensue and a bit of healthy competition, which is desperately needed.
Gordon Kennedy, 117 Simpson Square, Perth.