Readers' letters: Council elections are for local issues

In Edinburgh we are surrounded by over-budget tram works, overflowing bins and overcrowded developments of student flats and short-term lets.

While roads and pavements crumble, we are expected to pay more council tax, while the SNP-led council accept the cuts from the SNP-led government who squander budgets on fake embassies, rusting ferries, baby boxes for middle class mums and "free" tuition for middle class kids.

None of this has anything to do with Boris Johnson and the Tories, despite the protestations of Sturgeon's apologists.

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Local council elections are about local issues. If anyone in Edinburgh is deluded enough to vote SNP in May because they think it means they love their country, then they certainly do not care about their city.

Dr SJ Clark, Edinburgh.

Cyclists can help with upkeep of roads

I am all for safer roads for all.

The new changes to the Highway Code are more or less designed to make it safer for cyclists and pedestrians, so why has the government not taken this chance to make it law that cyclists must wear a helmet? Surely this is a real safety device.

The other big problem is the state of the roads. Cyclists have to pull out to avoid huge potholes without thinking or looking at what is behind them.

I sold my bike quite simply because our roads are not fit for cars, never mind bikes.

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I hope cyclists read up on the new rules, as we all know that motorists will be assumed to be at fault in most accidents involving cyclists, so we all need to be aware.

Let cyclists contribute to the upkeep of our roads; after all, they use them too.

Mrs Susan Smart, Penicuik.

Labour are no help in cost of living crisis

Ian Murray blithely assures us in his column that Labour has a plan to deal with the cost of living crisis (News, January 20).

Yet Keir Starmer has reneged on taking vital public services like energy back into state ownership, leaving people at the mercy of private corporations and their shareholders.

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A pathetic one-off tax on oil companies won’t help, but reinstating the oil tax the Tories scrapped in 2015 would provide billions in annual income.

Norway kept its 78 per cent oil tax. Last year Shell paid Norway £4.589 billion whereas it got a £179m tax rebate from the UK.

Starmer’s Labour is indistinguishable from Blair’s New Labour. Margaret Thatcher, asked about her greatest achievement, replied, “Tony Blair and New Labour. We forced our opponents to change their minds.”

Last week’s defection of hard-line Tory Christian Wakeford to Labour is confirmation.

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Scots aren’t flocking back to Labour, not only because Starmer’s English Labour Party is Tory-lite, but also because it remains intent on denying Scotland’s right to determine its own future.

If Scottish Labour was serious about challenging the SNP’s dominance, it would get its act together, break from its English bosses and support the restoration of Scotland’s independence.

Leah Gunn Barrett, Edinburgh.

Number Day

On February 4, schools will come together for a day filled with fun educational maths activities, as part of the NSPCC’s Number Day, a nationwide maths-themed fundraising event t to support the NSPCC.

It is free for any school to sign up and once a school has registered, the NSPCC will send it everything it needs to make its Number Day a success.

Paul Cockram, NSPCC Scotland

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