Readers' letters: Smoke alarm fitting made easy to install

Like many Scots, my home contains smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. All are tested regularly. Our insurer has never asked specifically about fire prevention.

The Scottish Government admit they will not be 'policing' their new legislation. No one will be fined for failing to comply.

They should start by offering reduced price fire alarms to everyone. There are millions of homes with no system whatever.

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Some years ago, alarms were fitted free to some council properties. The first few days they were bleeping away daily, triggered by toast, bacon etc. By the end of the first week they had all gone silent. They were so annoying, the majority had removed their batteries.

Any buildings with dangerous cladding should be helped to get the integrated system fitted as soon as possible. Retirement flats could also get priority. But to expect the entire nation to spend upwards of £200 for a new system when they are protected by a perfectly suitable one is unfair and unlikely to be followed.

Our ceilings are high. We would have to get an electrician to fit a new system, so we would be looking at nearer £400.

Surely local authorities could provide lists of firms that will install the alarms for a set price. Make it easy for those who wish to comply - and stop cowboys moving in.

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But with fuel costs spiralling and the cost of living increasing, do the SNP really expect law abiding citizens to buy into these smart alarms when they are satisfied with the system they already own?

SM Duthie, Edinburgh.

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Midlothian losing out on council funding

Midlothian councillors have pointed out that with a budget settlement of only 3.6 per cent higher than last year, they face a substantial cut in funding (News, 21 January). They also state that with an increasing population it is made even worse.

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The Scottish Government describes this as a “real terms increase”. For that to be correct it would need to be above inflation rate of 5.1 per cent. With the higher local population, according to government figures, Midlothian will receive a 2.8 per cent increase per inhabitant to £2042.

It could be worse. Edinburgh receives the lowest funding per head of population at £1654. Glasgow receives 34 per cent more at £2215 per person.

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Alastair Murray, Edinburgh.

What would Rabbie Burns have said?

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What would Rabbie Burns have to say about the corruption within a Conservative Party that thinks Scotland shouldn't be an independent nation?

A revered poet who wrote in the Scots vernacular, the language of the common people, Burns spoke fearlessly about corruption in high places, freedom and human rights

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Influenced by the French revolution and America's noble fight for independence from a corrupt Westminster, Rabbie was a radical thinker and reformer.

In turning over a mouse's nest with the plough, Burns wrote his highly acclaimed poem "To a mouse".

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Most Scots can still recite the first verse by heart today. In the last and not so well known verse, Burns, even after destroying the nest, envies the mouse because, unlike him, the mouse can’t look back on the past and can't ever fear the future. It is so beautiful.

Still thou art blest, compar'd wi' me;

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The present only touches thee

But och! I backward cast my e'e,

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On prospects drear!

An' forward, tho' I cannae see,

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I guess an' fear.

Jack Fraser, Musselburgh.

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