Readers' letters: Getting to bottom of CalMac ferry saga

On Wednesday during a debate in the Scottish Parliament, SNP transport minister advised that an e-mail exchange had been discovered “by chance” which proved that junior minister Derek Mackay had signed off the disastrous CalMac ferry “proposal”.

The transport minister omitted that the emails (when published later) showed John Swinney Deputy First Minister had also given approval.

It does seem strange that emails confirming a £97m contract could only be found “buried in someone’s electronic files” and “by chance”.

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We all know the contract was awarded to Ferguson Marine. Audit Scotland, opposition parties, and the public have sought the reason why the contract had been awarded. SNP are still refusing to disclose why they went against all the expert opinion.

I’m sure one of those involved, Derek Mackay, John Swinney, Keith Brown, etc, must recall the reason why such a controversial contract was awarded against all the expert advice?

Why won’t SNP let us hear from the individuals involved?

Alastair Murray, Edinburgh.

Reality check for our mental health

This week marks Mental Health Awareness Week, providing an opportunity to raise awareness of mental health problems and to mobilise efforts in support of mental health.

The rise in such problems over recent years has previously been labelled as a mental health crisis and one of the greatest public health challenges of our times. These problems are even more worrying when they concern the mental fitness of our younger generations, and how we are preparing them to face the growing challenges of entering adulthood.

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A study conducted during lockdown estimated that rates of probable mental health disorders in children and young people increased during the pandemic, from one in nine in 2017 to one in six in 2020. Against this backdrop, our mental health services are facing overwhelming and unprecedented pressures, which existed even before the pandemic and will become further exacerbated by the cost-of-living crisis.

The rapidly escalating numbers of those seeking support, faced with inadequate services, could potentially lead to a lost generation of vulnerable children and young people who are missing out on the support they vitally need.

In a mental health crisis we must not lose sight of the challenges our children and young people are facing, renewing our efforts in a national crusade to ensure that they receive adequate mental health support.

Kenny Graham, Lynn Bell, Stephen McGhee, Niall Kelly, The Scottish Children’s Services Coalition

Let’s put the best councillor on the job

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I am disappointed that the recent council clections have resulted in recriminations for the various political parties.

We have some wonderful, hard-working councillors as well as slackers and those that bin election promises as soon as they are elected.

I am saddened by Steve Cardownie’s view (News, May 11), that party politics plays any part in council work, even though we can see that he is quite correct.

Perhaps we need a change in policy within the council, where councillors best suited for a job are placed on committees rather than those from a majority party.

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This might result in better representation and a reduction in loss of public support. I won’t mention the previous transport committee and observances of public opinion.

Neil Macpherson, Edinburgh.

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