Letters to the editor

Send yours to news@mearnsleader.com


Can you help

Madam - I have a query I hope some of the Leaders readers will be able to answer. Years ago I remember being told that during the forties and early fifties fisherman from Arbroath and Gourdon spent the winter months operating from Stonehaven. During their stay they lived in huts at the backies down by the harbour.

Why were they fishing out of Stonehaven? I was also told that a number of these fishermen whished to move their boats and families permantly to Stonehaven, and they approached the then Burgh Council requesting housing, a request which was turned down and an opportunity to develop the town’s industry lost. Yours etc,.

Eddie Valentine


Carers Rights Day

Respite for carers is vital

Madam -

This month we celebrate Carers Rights Day and I’d like to take a moment to tell your readers why it’s essential we support unpaid carers right across the UK.

I work for Revitalise, an amazing national charity that provides respite holidays for disabled people and their carers. We understand the significance of being able to leave the stresses of everyday life behind, if only for a short while.

Most carers are entirely devoted to their loved ones, often working relentlessly to provide care and companionship for those they support. It is a sobering thought that as you are reading this, there are carers up and down the country who each day are edging ever closer to breaking point but are simply too fearful to let go of their loved ones, even for a few days.

We’ve conducted some research and found that 80% of carers said they found feelings of guilt to be a substantial barrier preventing them from accessing respite breaks for themselves and those they care for. As a result, a third of unpaid carers have never had any significant time away since they started caring.

In contrast, 100% of carers agreed that taking proper breaks away are vital in sustaining a good relationship with those they care for, with 9 out of 10 going on to say that it helped prevent the breakdown of the caring relationship. That’s why we want to shine a light on the enormous benefits of respite breaks and remind carers that help is at hand!

If you would like to find out about Revitalise, our breaks or ways that we can help you, please call 0303 303 0147, or visit www.revitalise.org.uk.

Stephanie Stone



Former schoolmate of Alex Salmond and Kenny MacAskill

Madam - I had a sudden attack of Schadenfreud just after .my tea the other night. I haven’t had one since that terrible conspiracy by all these old wifies to.shop Michelle Thomson for diddling them out of their houses. What a cheek! And now Natalie McGarry, MP, is being investigated, fur Goad’s sake! No wonder I felt a bit gassy and the humble pie we No voters have had to eat for the past few months kept coming back on me.

It always starts the same way: I hear these stories and reflect on the SNP’s new, progressive politics, openness and transparency and wonder how they forgot to even put proper cash handling procedures in place at Women For Independence - so much for Full Fiscal Autonomy!! Then I get hip problems, the doc says it’s “hypocrisy” Funneee. .the only relief I get is a big dose of irony tablets and then I console myself by thinking the pain will go away soon.

I wonder what Natalie’s Auntie Tricia (Marcliff, the Scottish Parliament Presiding Officer) is saying, she must be ragin’!

Allan Sutherland



Best to grow up

Madam, – On 10 September 1955, Action for Children Scotland – then known as National Children’s Home – launched its first-ever service, Cathkin House in Rutherglen, where we supported 30 children. Since then, we’ve never looked back and today, we work with over 14,000 vulnerable children and young people through our 90 services across Scotland.

We have led the way by introducing support such as Dundee Families, which helps families overcome the difficulties which they face and helps them to make changes to allow them to sustain mainstream tenancies, influencing family services across the UK.

In 1998, we launched Gilmerton Road in Edinburgh.

This innovative new service supported children with learning disabilities and their families in a home-from-home setting – a far cry from the large disability hospitals that families were used to, and in our care the children have flourished.

More recently we have also been involved in the roll out of the innovative Roots of Empathy programme.

This evidence-based classroom programme teaches children about empathy with the aim of increasing social and emotional competence while at the same time reducing levels of aggression and bullying amongst primary school children.

And we have campaigned to improve policy and legislative developments over a wide range of areas including child protection; youth justice; disability and housing support and homelessness.

Services in Falkirk such as the Tayavalla Short Breaks service, which provides short breaks and family support to families who have a disabled child, are a huge part of our work.

A special thanks to all our staff in Falkirk, partner organisations and to everyone that has supported our work.

Together, we make a huge difference to children and young people’s lives every single day.

As we mark our 60th anniversary, we continue to look to the future to improve the lives of young people in order to realise our ambition of making Scotland the best place in the world to grow up in. – Yours etc.,


Director of Children Services


Not so smart

Madam, – My energy supplier offered to install a free Smart Meter saying “New Smart Meters are part of Government plans to make it easier than ever for you to understand and control your energy use”.

It is not compulsory so I refused and others should do so or face a Big Brother scenario.

A new report shows my fears were justified.

Britain’s leading power firms are expected to introduce tariffs that charge more for gas and electricity at peak times when they roll out new Smart Meters to monitor how much energy you use.

A Government document has already stated that should there be a danger of blackouts then Smart Meters would be used to cut off supplies to those with high usage.

Already 1.3 million smart meters have been installed ahead of a national rollout next year which aims to put these in every home by 2020 and of course the costs will be added to our bills.

Still think Smart Meters are a good idea? – Yours etc.,