Readers' letters: Steve Cardownie is spot on with council stealth view
Well done Steve Cardownie for pointing out how the Transport & Environment committee is “brushing aside” the concerns of residents, 1003 of them, regarding Controlled Parking Zones – he calls for openness instead of stealth (News, September 7).
The public were hoping for a different approach, particularly as the new Convener, Cllr Scott Arthur, said months ago that councillors are here “to represent people, not dictate to them.”
He said he wants to restore trust, but thanks to the Green amendment, supported by the SNP, we can’t even have “an innocuous proposal to hold community workshops”.
As for stealth, the audit on SfP was accurately described by Cllr Arthur as "a damning report”. "This damning internal audit judgment could have been avoided if residents were listened to.” Precisely!
It severely criticised the failure to plan ahead for the removal of the “temporary” SfP schemes. When Cllr Rust asked in August 2021 how much Sustrans money was being retained to remove the “temporary” schemes, the reply was £450,000. However "A breakdown of the cost for removing each scheme has not been prepared.”
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Could it be that a breakdown of the cost for removal had not been prepared because there was always an intention of keeping them? Surely not!
Is it any wonder that our lack of trust in the TEC committee continues?
Paul Bailey, Edinburgh.
Green energy bonus
Geoff Moore (letters, 7 September) should note that the cost of energy bills is set by the UK government and Ofgem based on the wholesale gas price and that the cost of electricity is much higher in the UK than in most other European countries.
The energy statistics for Scotland published on 31 March state that 27.2 TWh of renewable electricity in 2021 was generated in Scotland and is the equivalent of powering all households in Scotland for almost three years.
Scotland’s net exports of electricity in 2021 was 16.0 TWh and the value of Scotland’s electricity exports had an estimated wholesale market value of £2.4 billion, but this is not shown up in Gers.
Scotland’s cheap renewable electricity capacity is increasing all the time, with several large offshore wind farms in the pipeline, and hydrogen is much cheaper than expensive nuclear power stations.
Germany is shopping for Scotland’s green hydrogen and the Scottish government is part funding a Scot2Ger research scheme as it is estimated that exporting green energy to Europe could be worth £25bn to Scotland’s economy with over 300,000 jobs by 2045.
Mary Thomas, Edinburgh.
Triple lock trick
The Food Train charity has highlighted the conflict faced by pensioners when deciding whether to spend their limited funds on food or save it to pay for heating this winter.
Perhaps the Scottish Secretary Alister Jack MP might ask his new PM to have a hard look at what was called "postponing the pensions triple lock".
The triple lock wasn't "postponed" - it was canc-elled. Had it been merely "postponed", the full amount due in April would be added to the next rise, if not immediately, now inflation has exceeded the amount that was due.
Cancelling the 'average earnings' part of the triple lock didn't just affect existing pensioners - it has depressed the base level for all future pension rises of what is already considered to be one of the poorest state pension provisions in the developed world.
Ian Waugh, Dumfries.
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