DEVOLUTION is the real choice for a progressive future for Scotland. Since 1997, new elected governments have been established in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, creating a more devolved and richly textured democracy.
At each level, governments are responsible for providing public services and for allocating revenues to them.
Decentralised democracy allows people to foster feelings to become more involved in local community affairs.
The Scottish Parliament does have powers to vary taxation by three pence in the pound if it chooses to. This was specifically decided by then Scottish people in the 1997 referendum, with the call for more powers to be devolved to Scotland some time in the future.
So why do we need another referendum, which is really asking for the people to throw away what we have already gained through devolution, the beginnings of a richly deserved democracy?
Chas Dennis, Niddrie Marischal Road, Edinburgh
UKIP tail is wagging the Conservative dog
The Conservative Commons rebellion over the holding of a referendum on EU membership, despite the publishing of a draft bill, is symptomatic of the UKIP tail wagging the Tory dog.
The Tory argument for not holding a referendum now, but waiting until 2017 after the next General Election, is opposition from Coalition partners, the Lib Dems.
Curiously the Lib Dems seem to have completely escaped under the radar on this issue as in the run-up to the 2010 General Election they urged a “real referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU”.
As with their pledge to resist an increase in tuition fees, this is yet another Lib Dem promise which has gone to the wall and the Tories seem reluctant to highlight.
Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh
Impression by artist imperfect
UNDER the headline “Misinformation helps no-one in planning debate” (Letters, May 2) is printed a misleading artist’s impression of the proposed Accies development, as seen from Raeburn Place.
This picture exploits a well-known trick of perspective. Deprive the eye of clues as to relative distances and you can make a rugby prop forward look smaller than his four-year-old son, or in this case, a massive commercial complex appear tiny compared with the trees which dominate the picture. Many readers must wonder what all the fuss is about. I believe that is what the developer intended.
Only the Save Stockbridge poster drawings have accurately drawn the attention of people to the real size and scale of this appalling development along the main road.
Alan Murphy, Learmonth Grove, Edinburgh
Traffic at waste site would be minimal
In your article “Parents rubbish waste plans” (News, May 10), parents and teachers at Strathesk Primary School, pictured, expressed concerns that the facility would pose a danger to children. They were also worried about noise and hazardous waste.
The centre, if granted planning permission, will be for the benefit of householders, allowing them to recycle general household items such as cardboard boxes, plastics and unwanted furniture.
Based on the use at our existing sites, we anticipate traffic would be minimal at times when parents are dropping their children off or picking them up from school.
The entrance to the site is not on the same street as the school.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency has not raised any concerns in relation to adverse environmental impacts. To be absolutely clear, the site will not be licensed to accept hazardous waste, so this will not be a problem at the site.
Staff are also on hand to keep the site tidy at all times to prevent – for example, wind-blown litter leaving the site.
To address potential noise pollution, woodland, other landscaping and fencing will provide an acoustic barrier and also make sure the site is largely hidden from the school playground. A noise assessment will determine if further measures are required to minimise potential noise from the site.
Phil Riddell, waste services manager, Midlothian Council
Visitors welcome, immigrants less so
Perhaps I can respond to the letter from D McBain (News, May 14).
I am perfectly aware of the difference between visitors and migrants.
I will explain in words of one syllable.
The first part of my letter was about immigrants coming here to milk our welfare state.
The remainder included the actual words of the Scottish Government spokesman who said “visitors” in response to the question of immigrants.
Visitors I welcome but those who stay to get welfare benefits and social housing should be deported.
I recommend that D McBain reads the latest Migrationwatch report which shows the tsunami of unsustainable immigration.
I also recommend the unemployment statistics and that Lord Mandelson has admitted that Labour’s deliberate immigration policy has led to the high unemployment of their traditional Labour supporters.
These are the people who will vote “No” to stop even more jobs being lost to an influx of immigrants welcomed by the SNP.
Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow