From our postbag

editorial image
0
Have your say

Watching Queensferry green spaces vanish

Sir, – I have been impressed by the Journal and Gazette’s coverage of the South Queensferry housing fiasco.

Because of the Forth Replacement Crossing, the accompanying motorway and other road works, South Queensferry has become “landlocked” and is left with very few green areas.

If the proposed housing goes ahead, virtually every last green area will disappear and there will be no recreational possibilities in the area.

Edinburgh City Council has indeed shown a serious lack of judgement in regard to the housing planned.

If it thinks that the people of South Queensferry will take this lying down, it is very much mistaken. – Yours etc.,

Colin Ferrington

Queensferry

More than Bo’ness missing out

Sir, – Perhaps the correspondent (Letters February 20) who attacked Falkirk Council for it’s perceived anti-Bo’ness bias should have read the same edition showing cuts at Edinburgh Council. All councils are cutting. How this is anti-Bo’ness is a mystery.

Perhaps the correspondent should ask why councils are having to cut? The answer being they receive most of their cash from Holyrood, which is cutting council grants. And who controls Holyrood? None other than the SNP! Holyrood will no doubt blame Westminster.

The correspondent could also ask why another source of council cash, the Council Tax, has been frozen for years and who benefits the most from this? Those in the biggest houses (who pay the biggest amount ), ie the well off! The SNP claims to be progressive but its actions do not match the claims ! – Yours etc.

William Ballantine,

Bo’ness

Blame tax freeze for cash cuts

Sir, – I note the highly emotive letter about Bo’ness published in last week’s issue - and its desire to fully lay the blame on cash cuts at the door of Falkirk Council.

But should we be blaming local representatives – caught between funding the Fair and providing care for old folk – or the highly-paid people who swan around an expensive building at Holyrood?

As a general rule, councils get about 80p of every pound they spend from the Scottish Government.

Most of the remainder comes from the council tax, which has been frozen since 2007.

The Scottish Government claims this “freeze” is fully funded. But something just doesn’t add up here.

Despite the “fully-funded” claims, councils across the country continue to have to make fierce budget cuts.

Falkirk Council has had to save £70.6 million over the past eight years.

In next three years, it will have to save a further £46 million to balance its books.

In other councils it’s a similar picture, with local representatives having to consider unthinkable and unpopular decisions to meet their legal obligations.

At the very least we should be pleased we’re not in Dundee, where the SNP Council is planning to close a school.

So come on, Holyrood politicians, get out of your ivory towers and tell us what YOU are doing to protect local services from cuts.

Tell us how you can demand extra tax-raising powers for yourselves, but stop councils raising their own Council Tax levels to protect local services.

I fully agree with the STUC deputy general secretary Dave Moxham. He was quoted as saying: “It seems to us that there is almost a conspiracy of silence about the absolute impact these cuts are having.

“We need to see the council tax increased and we need to start a proper debate about the way we fund local government.”

I hope someone in Holyrood is listening. – Yours etc.,

A. Matson,

17/3 Waggon Road,

Bo’ness.

Make opposition known

Sir, – Linlithgow is set to get more traffic congestion with the planning application for a medium-sized supermarket on Edinburgh Road.

As well as delivery vehicles, increased traffic congestion is inevitable due to the proposed location.

Do we need another supermarket so close to Tesco? If you wish to make your views known to the council please email planning@westlothian.gov.uk

Name and address supplied

Toddlers raise cash for kids

Sir, – On behalf of Barnardo’s, I’d like to say a big thank you to all the toddlers from the West Lothian area who took part in our Big Toddle events in 2014.

Together they raised an amazing £499 to help fund our vital work with under-fives and their families.

Nurseries, playgroups and parents all got involved in organising events, helping little ones to dress up as creatures from outer space, revealing the generosity and enthusiasm o f people in West Lothian for helping other families.

Of course, I’m sure those taking part had great fun too.

Children love dressing up and if they thought our 2014 outer space theme was fun, I’m sure our 2015 one – pirates – will be a great success.

Anyone interested in taking part in the next Big Toddle, now in its 19th year, can find everything they need by visiting www.bigtoddle.co.uk or calling 0800 008 7005. Thanks for your continued support. –Yours etc.,

Martin Crewe

Director,

Barnardo’s Scotland