The imminent closure of Avalanche (News, November 10) is a sad reminder that the internet has a downside as well as bringing us many benefits.
Earlier this year the last independent DVD rental shop in Marchmont closed its doors for the last time as a result of the rise of streaming and internet providers such as Lovefilm.
These shops act as cultural hubs and are an important part of Edinburgh life. It is time for our culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop to develop a strategy whereby such shops are regarded as important enough to be given tax breaks which would allow them to survive.
After all, further down the line, the creeping rise of the Kindle threatens to kill off what remains of our bookshops. We will be left with high streets full of charity shops, supermarkets and bookmakers and who wants to live in a city like that?
Gavin Fleming, Websters Land, Grassmarket, Edinburgh
‘No’ campaign an insult to voters
Ten words, one question: ‘Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?’ Seems straightforward to me. Not so for the “No” campaign. It appears pro-Union parties think the question is “biased” and could make “No” voters vote “Yes” by mistake.
This absurd notion not only scrapes the bottom of the scaremongering barrel, it insults the intelligence of Scottish voters. I’m quite sure we can figure out what the question means.
If only we could have a further three questions on referendum day: “Do you agree that Scotland should not waste money on Trident? Do you agree that Scotland should not be occupying Afghanistan? and Do you agree that Scotland should not be governed by a Tory party it rejects at the ballot box?”
Jack Fraser, Clayknowes Drive, Musselburgh
SNP feeding out misinformation
Let me correct three points Alex Orr made in his letter of November 9.
He uses the example of the Nordic nations to suggest that small countries are somehow more likely to be better managed economically but this is simply not true. He ignores the example of many other small countries in a terrible mess such as Ireland, Greece, Iceland, the Baltic states and Portugal. The size of a country is totally irrelevant to the argument about independence.
He points out that Scotland provides 9.6 per cent of the UK tax take while receiving 9.3 per cent of the UK tax spend. The SNP use these figures too. It is implying that we are being short-changed, but ignores the fact that the tax spend is higher than the tax take. The incontestable fact is and has been for many years that public spending per head in Scotland is around 12 per cent higher than in the rest of the UK.
He claims as a virtue the fact that the SNP Hoyrood administration has balanced its budget but it has no option but to do so as it does not have the power to borrow money. At the same time the SNP keeps saying it needs the economic power to borrow money and run a deficit! The SNP seems to want to have it both ways.
This is typical of the sort of misinformation the SNP feeds the Scottish public it claims to care so much about.
Donald McBride, Craigleith Hill Crescent, Edinburgh
Hard at work on finding solution
Scottish Water has been working hard to resolve issues raised in your story, “‘I’m one flood away from going out of business for good’, says optician” (News, November 8).
We have been working on a solution since last year. If the issue had been ‘old clogged pipes’, we could have cleared them quickly. The issue we need to resolve, however, is to improve capacity in the network.
Of the possible solutions identified one would have involved installation of a large storm tank in the Meadows. The alternative, our chosen solution, involves powered valves and amendments to the underground network which require a very deep excavation. We visited Mr Hislop on October 31 to explain this in detail.
Before work can commence we require an overseas neighbour’s permission, a Scottish Power electricity supply and permission for a road closure.
We want to resolve this issue as much as residents do, but this requires careful planning to get it right for the benefit of everyone.
Bill Elliot, regional community manager, Scottish Water