Readers' letters: Lib Dems turn back on green support

" A sad ending for a party that was the first champion of Home Rule for Scotland”

Friday, 3rd September 2021, 8:00 am

Lib Dems turn back on Green support

Alex Cole-Hamilton is obviously green with envy that the Green Party has become a mainstream party with influence in government (Opinion 1 September) while the Lib Dems remain a minor fringe grouping with a mere 12 MPs and four MSPs.

Nicola Sturgeon extended the offer of co-operation to Labour and the Lib Dems to build a sustainable economic Covid recovery for Scotland but they prefer to side with the Tories in petty opposition.

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In 2007, despite agreeing with 90 per cent of the SNP manifesto, the Lib Dems refused to even discuss a coalition as London HQ was opposed to Scotland having a democratic choice on our future.

Using Cole-Hamilton’s strange logic, by voting against the Green ministers he is putting his British nationalism before tackling climate change. A sad ending for a party that was the first champion of Home Rule for Scotland.

Fraser Grant, Warrender Park Road, Edinburgh.

Children need mental health care now

As mental health campaigners we were not surprised by the Audit Scotland blog highlighting that the number of young people waiting more than a year for treatment from child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) has trebled in the past year – almost a fifth of those seeking treatment.

Before the pandemic access to mental health treatment was already a significant issue, but Covid-19 has laid bare the scale of the challenge and the major uplift in resources required. This is further supported by a staff survey by the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland which found that more than 84 per cent of CAMHS psychiatrists felt they did not have enough resources, while 44 per cent felt that services were poorly staffed.

While we welcome the SNP-Green Co-operation Agreement that states that at least one per cent of all frontline spend goes on CAMHS by the end of this parliamentary session, we would urge that this is implemented now.

What is also vitally required is a renewed focus on prevention and early intervention, reducing the need for costly CAMHS. However, funding restrictions have impacted on services providing these.

Figures issued last month indicated that self-harm among the young in Scotland is at its highest level for 14 years. We are facing a mental health crisis and our children and young people are bearing the brunt of it. They must be able to access the services they need when they need them.

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

Ireland leads the way on indy polls

Jill Stephenson’s claim for 60 per cent support in opinion polls as the basis for granting another independence referendum (letters, 1 September), ignores the fact that there is an elected majority in our Scottish Parliament for another referendum.

It’s like an abusive marriage when the bullying party in a union refuses the other the chance to leave when they are not living in harmony.

Alistair Jack’s position is further undermined by the 1998 Northern Ireland Act, which clearly states that the NI Secretary of State is legally obliged to call a border poll if at any time it appears likely to him that a (simple) majority of those voting would express a wish that Northern Ireland should cease to be part of the United Kingdom and form part of a united Ireland.

The Northern Ireland Act also reduced the minimum period between polls from ten to seven years.

Mary Thomas, Edinburgh.