Letters to the editor

dunbar parking

Imagination

is needed with parking

Not everyone wants public car parking at Abbeylands, Dunbar.

Over 50 signatures, all people who live nearby, believe resident parking is a higher priority.

Residents have no dedicated parking provision, unlike in Haddington or North Berwick, and what long term parking is now available will be reduced to nothing if current muddled plans go ahead.

Among traders and residents there is a broad consensus that the problem in Dunbar is exaggerated and being used as a political football.

Councillors really ought to listen to ratepayers and not follow their populist instincts.

True, some people want parking liberalised and double yellows to mean ‘time to pick up a pie’. On any day of the week you’ll observe their antics on a street near you: blocking your bus stops, abusing disabled bays, and obstructing pedestrian passing places.

Daily the Abbeylands junction is blocked by such folk.

But are these symptoms of a parking problem, or, a simple lack of consideration, laziness and weak enforcement?

Abbeylands is the last place that you would locate a public car park anyway - as it is a cul de sac and a road to nowhere. As is this and previous administrations’ irrational pursuit of car-friendly policies, mainly benefiting two and three car owning suburban classes. All contrary to its published objectives and against government policy. Officers should follow their strategy and implement it based on evidence.

The evidence? The most recent parking study found that utilisation of parking facilities barely reached capacity during the day and concluded there was no objective shortage, but observed residents were using public places (I wonder why?).

Based on this evidence, the council consulted on extending the length of time from 60m to 90m barely a month ago. A welcome change that would decrease car turnover and have a calming effect too?

So who would not support a little more time for visitors to browse shops, have meetings and grab a coffee too. Safer too, as there’d be less cars jostling for space and better use of the existing facilities, which just need better signage?

But no, Dunbar has become a “drive by” convenience economy rather than a destination.

Over the years ‘beggar thy neighbour’ policies have favoured cheap (and not so cheap) convenience stores and takeaways with the result that our high streets are now much less welcoming to visitors and increasingly less desirable for residents.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

To paraphrase Malcolm Fraser, Scottish Government adviser on town centre regeneration, vibrant town centres will be the ones where people also want to live in and without the stigma of being seen as second class.

As for Abbeylands, it is crying out for an imaginative street scheme and some trees, but not a car park.

It would be an ideal place for a pocket park or a quiet community garden or even a smaller social housing scheme with nice gardens for the elderly.

At worst it could be a private housing development, which would help defray the previously sunk costs.

High street residents can add their names to the petition here: http://abbeylandsresidents.org.uk/petition/

Philip Immirzi,

Dunbar.

road safety

Dangerous practice

There are a small number of local yobs who apparently take delight in yelling or hooting at cyclists when driving past in order to startle them.

Could I ask the parents of such badly behaved young men to explain to their offspring that this is a stupid, selfish and dangerous practice, and instruct them to desist?

If these striplings have surplus energy to work off - or perhaps, if they are so unacquainted with modern life that the sight of a bicycle fills them with uncontrollable amazement.

Might I suggest that, instead of being ferried around in automobiles like fine ladies, they get themselves bicycles of their own, to the benefit of their health as well as the equanimity of other road users?

Mr J.L.H. Thomas,

North Lodge Cottages, yLadykirk.

independence

Abuse of older citizens

When I read Richard Walthew’s letter (August 8) about his conversations with the old and young at the Border Union Show, about the possibility of Scottish independence, a powerful image came to mind and caused a shiver to run down my spine.

It was the scene in the sunny tranquillity of a beer garden in the film Cabaret.

A very wholesome young man in what looks, at first sight, like Boy Scout uniform, sings ‘The sun on the meadow is summery warm, the stag in the forest runs free; But gather together to greet the storm. Tomorrow belongs to me.’

What starts as a sweet lyric develops into such an infectious marching song that one after another the youth in the audience rise to their feet to join in as the Hitlerjugend stand to attention at the salute.

The song closes with Oh Fatherland, Fatherland, Show us the sign, your children have waited to see. The morning will come when the world is mine. Tomorrow belongs to me. Tomorrow belongs, Tomorrow belongs to me!

Unthinkingly, middle-aged men and women join in the song but an old man, probably a war veteran, shakes his head sadly for he knows that this ‘patriotism’ will tear the German nation apart and lead it to destruction.

Mr Walthew is quite wrong to abuse older citizens as ‘fuddy-duddies’ and to applaud the adventurous and patriotic spirit of youth without mentioning the other important difference between the two groups.

One, the elder, has had life experience, is aware of human nature, of the ways of politicians and their supporters and has seen bloodshed, poverty and ruin result from the pursuit of political power here and elsewhere.

Yes, indeed, callow youth, untrammelled by experience, can imagine a wonderful future freed from the imagined oppression of a power that is seated over three hundred miles away and wave their little flags in the belief that constitutional change will change human nature, and that we Scots are a race apart.

So, as Mr Walthew discovered, that is how it is. Hard won, empirical experience, maybe even despair, is set against shining dreams, tutored hope and, dare I say it, mawkish sentimentality.

Fenton Robb,

North Street, Eyemouth.

Enthusiastic but clueless!

There is the odd week when The Berwickshire publishes a letters page that doesn’t contain a letter from Richard Walthew. Not many.

I wonder why he hasn’t stood for election to try to put his views into practice.

Or am I wrong and he has but not been elected?

This week’s letter contained this quote (regarding an independent Scotland): “but among younger people the attitude was quite different - bring it on!”

Of course, if you ask youngsters if they want things to be better and an independent Scotland will deliver that, they’ll say yes en masse.

Be realistic Richard, youngsters are great at enthusiasm - they always were. Doesn’t mean they have a clue what they are enthusiastic about.

Johnny Logan.

shooting

Not so glorious

Monday was probably the most inaptly named day in the Scottish calendar, with shooters taking to the grouse moors to celebrate the Glorious Twelfth.

Frankly, there is nothing less glorious than individuals, many of whom are untrained and inexperienced, invading the countryside to kill or injure wildlife which is managed solely for this purpose. Yet year after year the start of the grouse shooting season is still referred to as ‘glorious’.

The Glorious Twelfth may well be awaited with great anticipation by the small minority who seek pleasure in arming themselves with lethal weapons to spend a day causing stress, injury and suffering to one of Scotland’s iconic species.

However, as gamekeepers and land managers prepare for the season, the suffering inflicted on wildlife in many cases surpasses the shooting itself.

Much of the land around shoots will be littered with snares - thin wire traps which silently garrotte their victims with no discrimination between intended and unintended targets.

It is quite staggering that in this day and age such cruelty is legally acceptable and I would urge readers to support OneKind in our campaign to end the suffering caused by snares and by the commercial shooting industry more widely.

John Brady,

CEO, OneKind.

gmo

Anything for profit

Just read the Berwickshire News article (August 9) and a claim has been made by your author that ‘no single instance if GMO causing illness in animals or humans has been found’.

I now refer you to the natural news report which can be seen at http://www.naturalnews.com/037249_gmo_study_cancer_tumors_organ_damage.html

This article clearly shows the damage done to animals and if you dig deeper you will find evidence of GMO damage to humans.

As far as farmers are concerned they will grow anything for profit and remember they are still heavily subsidised by the tax payer and in turn I believe an attempt to poison us is in motion now.

George Niedzwiedz.

Legal advice

Free service on offer

Please could we let everyone know that Morisons Solicitor, Emma Horne, will be continuing to offer free 30 minute legal advice to carers and families living with Asperger syndrome/autism, dementia, Alzheimer’s, learning disabilities and other mental health conditions.

Appointments to see Emma between 10am and 4pm at the Focus Ability Centre in Galashiels on Monday, October 7, or Monday, December 2, can be made by telephoning; 01896 668 961 or email baags@btconnect.com.

Thank you to the caretaker and committee of the Focus Ability Centre for allowing us the use of their room to hold these sessions, we are indebted to you for your support and help, thank you.

Derek Purvis,

BAAGS.

sponsored cycle

Marathon effort by Gill

I would like to personally thank the many people who have very kindly donated to Arthritis Research UK following my cycle ride from Dover to Cape Wrath.

We raised £1,110 online, £304 offline and £151 at the Burnmouth Village Hall coffee morning back in May, this makes an amazing total of £1,565 which far exceeds anything I had thought was possible.

I had a great time doing the actual cycle ride and managed to cover 996.7 miles in 13 days during the last two weeks in July where we had 13 continual days of sunshine.

Once again thank you to everyone.

Gill Caine,

Burnmouth.

help for roman

Asda raises £1,700 for fund

To all our amazing customers, collegues and family at Asda Tweedmouth I would like to say a huge thank you.

With all your help over the last couple of months we have been able to raise a fantastic £1,700 in aid of Help For Roman.

We would like to wish Rachel, Stuart and Roman many happy days ahead.

Thank you again.

Hazel Boyd,

Community Life Champion, Asda Tweedmouth.

swan court

Fantastic effort at Eyemouth

The residents of Swan Court in Eyemouth and I would like to thank all family and friends for supporting our coffee afternoon on Friday, August 2 and it was nice to see that a lot went out to see our garden.

The total raised was £484.93, a fantastic effort from all.

Helen Tarvit,

Swan Court manager.

herring queen

Terrific event

The Eyemouth Herring Queen Committee would like to express a sincere thank you to the people of Eyemouth and district for their support of the festival week this year.

The parents and families of both courts have given so generously of their time and talents to help boost the many hands it takes to put a festival like this together. It was truly heart-warming to see so many people turn out and join in with the spirit of each event.

The work that the committee put in over the year, planning each event, is done with the hope that we can bring the community together to have fun. We are delighted with the feedback we have received and hope to build on this year’s success to make next year’s 70th festival bigger and better. If anyone is interested in joining the organising committee or has any ideas or suggestions they wish to put forward the committee would be very grateful for your input.

It’s great to see that community spirit is alive and well in Eyemouth.

Eyemouth Herring Queen Committee.

moonwalk

Magnificent

May we, through your paper, thank everyone who sponsored us for doing the Edinburgh Moonwalk in June.We raised a total of £1,692 for Breast Cancer Research. It was a magnificent night and a great sum of money. Thanks again.

Christine, Judith, Claire and Alison,

Duns.