THE latest cuts to the funding of buses in Edinburgh by the SNP government will mean that since they came to power five years ago we have had a 40 per cent increase in bus fares (News, February 1).
With inflation mostly below five per cent for that period, this is a disgrace.
The failure of the same government to regulate the buses, and the cancellation of the airport rail links, shows that for all their rhetoric the SNP have been a disaster for public transport in our capital.
Dave Cochrane, Spottiswoode Street, Edinburgh
Don’t trust them with the books
ANN Henderson is right to say that Edinburgh City Council’s Next Generation Library and Information Services Strategy is about cutbacks (Letters, February 1).
This is admitted in the introduction of the document where it says that “the strategy takes account of the budget saving decisions” taken by the SNP/Liberal Democrat council in February 2011.
The SNP/Lib Dem budget agreed to take out £52,000 this year and a whopping £550,000 in 2012-13. The Labour-led joint opposition budget did not cut libraries in either year.
Her point about this year’s budget decisions is well made and Labour aim to make the commitment she seeks for libraries in their forthcoming budget for 2012-13.
Councillor Gordon Munro, culture and leisure man (Labour)
Independence . . with EU in charge
ROBIN MacCormick (Letters, January 31) appears to believe that the forthcoming debate and referendum is to restore Scotland’s “independence”. It clearly isn’t.
Should Scotland vote for the Salmond proposal, it would be far from independent – still subordinate to another bigger, more remote, democratically unaccountable authority – the European Union.
It would still be shackled with all the existing institutions, power over our place in the world simply shifted from Westminister for the clique at Holyrood to give away.
Monetary control over our affairs would be reinvested beyond the British Isles, directly within Europe, our wee Scottish voice barely audible in the clamour for European political integration and empire building.
And we would simply replicate the archaic monarchy system to preserve privilege and rank in the new Scottish era, any pretence at egalitarian democracy a pipe dream.
This isn’t a referendum about Scots determining their own future.
The notion is as fatuous as the pursuit of these 20th century “wish politics” of the few seeking control over a dangerously disinterested many.
However, I’m delighted we’re going to be voting on it. Because, when the SNP loses the debate, there will be no further need for a so-called nationalist party promulgating “independence” for Scotland.
The SNP can disband and we can concentrate on developing our role within the big voice in Europe that is the UK Union.
So, will Alex Salmond commit himself to this?
Jim Taylor, The Murrays Brae, Edinburgh
Show order and spare the horses
FOR the last 50 years, successive governments and councils have forgotten that they were appointed to serve their constituents with the taxes they were provided with.
Instead of aiming for positive results to everybody’s benefit, they have fallen into the same trap which Margaret Thatcher fell into – namely methods rather than results.
We now have the situation in Scotland where a number of Coastguard stations will disappear to save money, forgetting that experienced eyes know where to look.
In the case of the fire brigade, local names will disappear and local knowledge will suffer in an effort to save money.
In the case of the Lothian and Borders Mounted Police, a mounted police officer, because of their extra height, can see problems which the foot patrols cannot.
Does the Scottish Government think it knows better than the mounted police, who have years of experience?
I am quite sure the SNP government could find the necessary finance, and stop blaming the horses! As the Speaker of the House of Commons would say, “order, order” – and never mind independence for now.
CJR Fentiman, Polwarth Gardens Edinburgh