Letters to The Fife Free Press

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A selection of your letters from the FFP of September 22.

AFTER FALL IN HIGH STREET

Good Samaritans who came to my aid

Sir, – I wish to express my thanks to the people who came to my aid when I fell in Kirkcaldy High Street on Wednesday, September 7.

In particular, my thanks go the the mother and daughter who helped me into Marks & Spencer and made sure I had a seat and a coffee.

The age of the Good Samaritan is not dead. – Yours, etc.,

M. Ringan

Holly Road, Leven

EDINBURGH AIRPORT

Flight path noise dumped on Fife

Sir, – Having worked for MOD (N) Rosyth commissioning radar systems in the 70s and 80s, I am concerned by Edinburgh Airport’s campaign to change its flight paths.

Aircraft routes to the east have changed as, on lift off, they now veer about 12 degrees to the north.

This results in the aircraft turning south, just short of Burntisland and Kinghorn, on which they deposit their noise.

This turn used to be made just north of Inchkeith Island.

My house faces south and when I first moved in I could see aircraft from an upstairs window, but heard no noise. Now I see and hear them very loudly from my back garden as they soar above my roof.

Another route taking off to the east which turns west affects Aberdour, Dalgety Bay, Inverkeithing, Rosyth and other coastal villages with noise.

Most of these flights are heading for southern destinations.

A recent route change trial was abandoned after West Lothian protested.

This route took off to the west and turned north, then east over Rosyth, etc.

To my knowledge Fife was never consulted on any of the changes.

I monitored east take-offs for two hours 30 minutes and, of 21 flights, 11 went west, and nine went east over Kinghorn. Only one went east over Inchkeith. This was a Balkan Airways A320 with no noise on the Fife coast. You can monitor the flight paths using planefinder.net.

The ‘Lets Go Further’ website infers there have been no changes since 1970 and in a recent article in the Fife Free Press, Edinburgh Airport stated ‘there have been no changes to flight paths’ when a Mr Combes from Kinghorn complained about aircraft noise. Something does not seem right. What is the real story? It would appear the sky over Edinburgh is the least affected.

There should be no need for the amount of noise being ‘dumped’ on the Fife coast, when there is such a large area of water to play with.

There are not many houses on Inchkeith island. – Yours, etc.,

John Jamieson

(via email)

AWARENESS DAY

Making the right housing choice

Sir, – This week sees the first ever Scottish Housing Day. Coinciding with this, a specially commissioned opinion poll has found wide variations in housing preferences and awareness across Scotland.

The findings underline the benefits of organising an annual housing day since most people have limited awareness of potential housing options beyond buying with a mortgage, social or private renting.

The public generally knows little about other options, such as shared equity, mid-market rent, Help to Buy or self-build. There are also big regional variations in types of housing. The percentage of adults considering buying with a mortgage ranges from 62 per cent in the Lothians to 32 per cent in Central.

Self-build is particularly popular in the Highlands and Islands, social renting is rated high in the south of Scotland – and interest in renting from a private landlord ranges from 29 per cent in the Lothians to 8 per cent in the H&I.

As an ongoing campaign, the aim of Scottish Housing Day is to raise awareness and to help people access the information they need to make the right housing choice to suit their individual circumstances. More information can be found HERE. – Yours, etc.,

Annie Mauger

Executive Director, CIH Scotland

IN SO MANY WAYS...

The SNP is the party of failure

Sir, – I know September 19 is a very depressing and sad day for the SNP and its supporters. It was on this day two years ago that they realised they’d failed to convince the majority of voters in Scotland that independence was a good thing.

Chambers dictionary defines ‘fail’ as ‘to fall short or be wanting; to be or to become insufficient’. By these terms the SNP clearly is a party of failure.

They failed to get the majority of Scotland to vote for independence. While they understandably celebrate their 56 MPs it should be remembered that more people voted against the SNP than for it.

Their landslide was entirely based on a discredited ‘first past the post electoral system’.

As the party of failure the SNP over their decade in office has failed in so many ways.

The attainment gap between children from better off families and less advantaged young people has increased.

The Scottish Government’s failure to adequately invest in the training and development of nurses, midwifes, social workers, GPs and other medical personnel has resulted in a Scottish NHS in crisis.

By failing to allow local authorities to raise the finances they require to meet the needs and aspirations of local people, the SNP have ruled over the closure of libraries, crumbling and dangerous roads, and social services over stretched and underperforming.

So how do the First Minister and her party continue to be in power? Through the use of the magic wand of independence. One wave of independence and all will be fine. Only the other day the FM was reported as saying that “oil, national wealth and balance sheets” are less important than self-governance for Scotland.

Failure is one thing but delusion is far more serious. – Yours, etc.,

Finlay Craig

(by email)

U-TURN AHEAD

Fracking crucial to the economy

Sir, – Jim Ratcliffe, the owner of Grangemouth refinery, has warned that Scotland will never be able to become independent unless it embraces fracking and reminded the Government of the £15bn black hole in its public finances. He pointed out that shale gas imported from the US has saved 10,000 jobs in the Falkirk area.

He accused SNP ministers of “hypocrisy” for welcoming Ineos’ decision to import US shale gas while imposing a moratorium on fracking.

How true, especially when a Scottish Government report has already found that fracking can be done safely.

Graeme Blackett, economic advisor to Nicola Sturgeon’s new Growth Commission set up to tackle Scotland’s £15bn deficit, is in favour of drilling underground coal and turning it into gas – a technique almost identical to fracking – which could boost the economy by £13bn and create up to 12,000 jobs. How long before Nicola Sturgeon has to admit that fracking is safe and will drive the Scottish economy? – Yours, etc.,

Clark Cross

(address supplied)

TELEVISION SHOWS

Is this the end of the BBC?

Sir, – Is this latest loss the end for the BBC? Top Gear zoomed off into the Amazon sunset. The Great British Bake Off is to become the icing on the Channel 4 cake. Will this series be Strictly Come Dancing’s last tango with auntie?

The future isn’t looking bright for our beloved broadcasting corporation. – Yours, etc.,

Judi Martin

(by email)

CHRISTIANITY’S ROLE

Foundation of humane outlook

Sir, – I cannot wish the National Secular Society’s latest legal challenge to the law on religious observance in schools well.

One does not have to believe in an afterlife and Holy Spirits to recognise that Jesus was one of the very greatest moral teachers, nor to recognise the positive contribution of Christianity to our society.

For example, when asked whether it was lawful for a devout Jew to pay taxes to Rome, Jesus asked whose head was on the coin. When he was told it was Caesar’s, He replied: “Give to Caesar that which is Caesar’s, and to God that which is God’s.”

These wise words are the basis of the separation between politics and religion in western societies. You only have to look at the Middle East to see the malign consequences of the alternative. Or consider his words to a mob about to stone a woman for adultery: “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” The mob soon dispersed.

Secularists obsess about eliminating Christianity from our public life. They forget a great many people feel a need for the divine and that in the absence of the humane and pacific Christian outlook, people will likely turn not to secularism, but to harsher and less humane religions. – Yours, etc.,

Otto Inglis

(via email)