Letters to the Editor - March 11

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Taxi Driver

Pollution

Madam - Since at least May last year, a taxi driver has been coming into Market Square, Stonehaven, collecting their newspaper from the Co-op and then sitting in their car with the engine running for anywhere between 10 and 15 minutes. I reported this to the firm last May and the response was that the taxi driver was never in the Square. I then drew the matter to the attention of the local authority. When I wrote to the local authory on February 1, I thought that the driver had ceased this activity but recently I have seen them earlier in the day. They now come just after 7am, whereas previously it was around 7.30am. Keeping their engine running unnecessarily pollutes the atmosphere, but the fact that they ignore warnings not only from the local authority but also from the police sugges to me that they are unfit to have a taxi licence.

Yours etc,.

Douglas Cusine

Stonehaven

Fracking

Fear

Madam - In the last few days we have heard Nicola Sturgeon tell Kezia Dugdale that fracking “ain’t gonna happen”. Does she mean the moratorium, or beyond that, irrespective the conclusions and evidence of the report she has commissioned?

If it is the latter then Patrick Harvie is quite right to demand that the FM cancels the investigation, because what is the point of commissioning a report which will be ignored if it concludes that fracking is environmentally safe and economically viable?

Nicola Sturgeon’s actions are the usual mainstream politics that all parties use: postpone a decision until after the election and prevaricate to your back teeth in the meantime.

Patrick Harvie’s actions are more sinister: in a democracy where decisions should be taken on the basis of good evidence and arguments, I suspect his desire to close down debate is driven by a fear that the report will come out in favour, and the whole “green” house of cards will collapse.

Yours etc,.

Allan Sutherland

Stonehaven

Aberdeenshire budget

Response

Madam - Your Liberal Democrat correspondent (Friday 4 March) commented on reports from schools about the issue of young people and mental health. She/He has taken a very selective view of the Aberdeenshire budget.

This issue of mental health is of such importance that the Partnership Administration of Aberdeenshire Council is working with young people themselves to develop an appropriate approach to prevention and support. The Deputy Provost herself is taking this forward as a key part of her work.

We respect the contribution that young people can make to policy making.

In addition, 15 March will see the launch of the Aberdeenshire Mental Health and Well-Being Strategy to promote and support positive outcomes in relation to mental health and well-being for children and young people.

We are taking real action with a range of community partners.

The grant settlement to local authorities from the Scottish Government this year has thrown up many challenges and difficult choices. Children and young people have remained a top priority within Aberdeenshire however, as can be seen through our continued work with the Pupil Participation Forum, our commitment to Pupil Support Assistants and our emphasis on our role as corporate parents for Looked After Children.

We value our young people as individuals, each one with a variety of needs to be addressed.

Yours etc,.

Councillor Alison Evison

Chair of Education, Learning and Leisure

Stuart Donaldson

Lads holiday

Madam - Madam - Despite the many arguments for remaining within the EU such as free trade and protection of human rights, it is of great concern that the main reason that Stuart Donaldson MP thinks we should stay in the EU is “lad’s holidays”. That Mr Donaldson, my constituency representative, considered this important enough to state his concerns in the House of Commons last week is worrying. He can be assured that the provision of emergency medical treatment within the EU is not restricted to citizens of member states.

Is this another example of the SNP politicians being out of their depth?

Our political representatives should have the knowledge and expertise to understand what is important in this debate and what really matters to all constituents. This isn’t the first time that Mr Donaldson has failed to highlight the significant benefits to the North East of Scotland in remaining part of a strong and stable union.

Yours etc,

Steven Humphrey,

Banchory

EU debate

Put our country’s interests first

Madam, – The British people, when voting on June 23 to decide whether we remain or leave the EU, should only consider the interests of this country.

Hollande has the nerve to inform us that France, if we leave, will not stop migrants travelling on to the UK, completely ignoring the fact that the present arrangement is between France and the UK and has nothing to do with the EU.

Of course that arrangement will be of little consequence as we will have complete control over our borders, so our government will decide who enters our country.

We must do as we did for nearly 1000 years and go for the opportunities that arise and look for the silver lining.

We certainly cannot be worse off than we are at present tied to the European Union of the Regions and Cities. – Yours, etc.,

Eric R. S. Davidson

Macduff,

Clean up

we need to

Madam, – As I make my way around on my bicycle, my road is lined with an almost constant ribbon of rubbish.

Plastic bags, bottles, food containers, drink cans, furniture, mattresses, piles of builders’ waste, treated wood, tyres, asbestos, toilet paper ... basically almost anything you can imagine.

It looks disgusting, it threatens our wonderful ecology, and, worst of all, if it is not picked up, natural processes will bury it underground, where it will remain hidden for thousands of years.

Sadly, despite the efforts of NGOs, litter picking groups and concerned individuals, this is evidently a battle which is being lost.

Collectively they simply cannot counter the out-pour, and the response from councils is generally marginal.

I’ve created a petition for the creation of a National Litter Clean-Up Scheme.

A simple and cheap solution, it calls for ‘the creation of a nationwide, government-run, voluntary litter clean-up scheme, where publicly funded bodies are made responsible for planning, organising and implementing litter pick-ups.

If you care for what you’ve just read, then please take a few minutes to sign the petition, and please spread the word by any possible means – social media, magazines, word of mouth, pigeons etc. You’ll find the petition at petition.parliament.uk/petitions/118853.

If we truly value the beauty of where we live then we must be proactive, get out there and clean up this mess, and in doing so not only set an example to each other – Yours, etc.,

Alex Thomson

(by e-mail)