Letters: Scottish rights to Crown Estate are under threat

Tobermory. Pic: Phil Wilkinson
Tobermory. Pic: Phil Wilkinson
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With the ink hardly dry on the report from the Smith Commission, it is bizarre to note that the UK Crown Estate will be able to build up a new portfolio in Scotland after the devolution of the existing function to Scotland.

It appears that following an agreement with the UK Government, the UK Crown Estate would still be able to make new investments and build up a new portfolio of land in Scotland – the surplus revenue of which would flow to the Treasury rather than to the Scottish Government, benefitting people in Scotland, despite what was agreed by all the parties in the Smith Commission.

In effect, the UK Government’s plans would mean there are two Crown Estates operating in Scotland at the same time, a quite ridiculous state of affairs.

The UK Government simply can’t get away with this ludicrous plan which goes entirely against the spirit of the Smith Commission proposals.

It is vital that full responsibility for the Crown Estate and its assets are in Scotland’s hands, rather than allowing the UK Crown Estate to continue exploiting Scotland’s wealth and assets as if nothing had changed.

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh

Rail improvements should benefit us all

The Tory election candidate for East Lothian, David Roach, demonstrated exactly where the Conservatives’ priorities lie in the Evening News, (Bid to send more trains to Dunbar’, March 4).

It was stated that only four mainline services stop at Dunbar, one of which comes from London. While the London part may be true, conveniently the other seven mainline services provided by Cross Country trains appear to have been conveniently overlooked.

While I welcome improvements to rail services anywhere, it maybe worth noting that Dunbar and its population are better served by mainline services than Morpeth Station, just 50 minutes south on the mainline.

Furthermore, with the predicted enhancements to rail services in East Lothian, like the re-opening of East Linton station and ScotRail services running to Berwick Upon Tweed, wouldn’t Mr Roach and his fellow Conservative allies be better throwing their weight behind meaningful improvements, rather than ensuring they have a selective London service so that they can collect their daily wage from Westminster.

Richie Veitch, Crown Street, Leith

Can you help find my old friend Betty?

Can anyone help me trace an old friend? Her unmarried name was Betty Scott and we worked in the offices of Thomas C Gray in Victoria Street.

She rented a room in Westhall Gardens then moved to Strathearn Road and went to work at the Geographical Society.

Unfortunately we lost touch but I would love to find out how her life panned out. If anyone could help I would be very grateful.

Please contact me on 0781-577 5102.

Andrena Gibson, address supplied

Is the word being overused? Absolutely

Is it my imagination or is the word ‘absolutely’ now being uttered almost as a matter of course as an affirmative answer to any question asked, when a simple ‘yes’ will suffice or even ‘indeed’ ?

It gives undue emphasis when in most cases none is due or deserved and it undervalues the legitimate use of the word.

It seems to have become just another silly quirk or trend in the use of language, in the same way that young people cannot put together sentences without using the word ‘like’ at every opportunity.

How do these peculiar language habits start and can we not get them put into room 101?

Barry Turner, Carberry Close, Musselburgh

Southside needs a balanced strategy

Helen Martin throws in her tuppence worth in her column in support of more student housing in the Southside (News, February 23).

She apparently realises the problems of getting repairs done in shared tenement properties, but obviously not the problems of being swamped by students in a small area.

No, it is not a good idea. It also has a knock-on effect on the local shops. Small, local, Asian grocers disappear and the major chains take over. They target the student market and not your average family shopper.

Support the local people in knocking back these proposals. What we need is more affordable homes/flats for people working in the area.

Bill Cunningham, St Leonard’s, Edinburgh

SNP Government is aiding tax avoidance

I see that legislation has been passed to end the collection of historic poll tax debt.

Does this mean that the honest people who paid their taxes will be due a rebate or are we going to prove that crime does pay?

Proof of one more tax avoidance scheme for certain people.

Raymond Ross, Hutchison, Edinburgh