Letters: Gala day’s disappearance shows value of volunteers

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Have your say

Your editorial (Value of Volunteers, March 28) was a welcome acknowledgement of the valuable place of community projects and groups across the country, while the report on the problems facing Blackburn Gala Day (same paper), could be repeated for every gala/school fair/church sale/kids’ soccer team in the land.

I strongly echo the complaint of the organiser that “People seem to think these festivals just happen”. Our own Clermiston and Drumbrae Children’s Gala happens because nine people make it happen. Maybe it takes community galas such as Blackburn to disappear before folks realise their importance.

I have always believed that if you want something done in your area then you have to get involved and make it happen which is why 15 years after offering to type some letters I’m still chair of the gala committee!

Cllr Karen Keil, gala chairperson, Clermiston and Drumbrae Children’s Gala, Drumbrae South, Edinburgh

Let’s unite against the bedroom tax

The “bedroom tax” is an immoral tax, hitting people who are already on low incomes and the consequences can be devastating for a family, even being forced to move out of their home, to where and how?

If the impacts of this benefit cut are known to most people then it is also known to the Tory/Lib Dem Government.

Do they not care but are quite prepared to break up families and destroy their home life, all this in their pursuit of breaking up our hard won welfare system? If so, what a bunch of bullies and cowards they are. They also know that local councils are by law forced to implement the bedroom tax, but councils should make every effort to help people affected and operate a no 
eviction policy.

We see in this the Tory principal of divide the people and rule them. This must be resisted by a united pressure from people, their local councillors, their MPs and MSPs and all community organisations. It can be done.

A Delahoy, Silverknowes Gardens, Edinburgh

Forgiveness alone is not enough

Re the letter from Neil Barber (News, March 28), do you realise that forgiveness alone is not the whole answer, we need a life change, and do you know the meaning of Emmanuel, the name given to that innocent man who so suffered? It means “God with us” and it applies to the babe in the manger and the man who chose the cross.

Look at the wickedness and consequent suffering that abounds in the world, and in our lives, and realise that we need more than forgiveness, we need a life change. To try to change our lives by “renewal festivals”, new year resolutions, or any other man-made effort is like trying to pull ourselves up by our boot laces. I write as one who found forgiveness and a new life at the cross.

If Easter was once a pagan festival, what an amazing revolution! A God who humbled himself, taking the form of a helpless baby and an innocent sacrifice whereby we can know true forgiveness, renewal, and the power to live a changed 
life.

Jennifer Muir, Grange Road, Broxburn

Puffins starving to death is so sad

It’s such a terrible shame scientists are fearing thousands of puffins have died of starvation because of atrocious weather conditions in the North Sea (Evening News, March 27).

As hundreds of dead birds had already been washed ashore along the east coast in an area stretching from Aberdeenshire to Northumberland, it’s thought the birds may have been unable to feed due to storms at sea.

June Fleming, Hercus Loan, Musselburgh

‘Gambling’ on food prices must stop

Last year, global investment bank Goldman Sachs made up to £251 million from speculating on the price of basic foods like wheat, soy and maize. Food speculation drives up food prices and is contributing to the fact that nearly one in seven people worldwide are hungry.

It is scandalous that banks like Goldman Sachs can get away with what is essentially gambling on food prices. Regulation to curb speculation on food is under discussion at the EU, but our government has so far attempted to block strict rules. I would like to see the UK supporting tough controls.

Craig Millard, Albert Street, Leith, Edinburgh