Readers’ letters

Mark and quarry
Mark and quarry

Find out what readers think of the events making the news in the Gazette

Vision required

Dear Ed, – The omission of the quarry from the New Lanark Management Plan is indeed concerning (“Quarry missing”, April 24).

Its exclusion from a preceding draft has already been used by Historic Scotland to excuse the mutilation of the landscape it once described as being “intimately bound up with the value of the world heritage site” and pledged to protect.

However, we must look to what the plan can offer. Save Our Landscapes has prepared proposals to restore and improve access to the Falls of Clyde, as part of a programme to raise public appreciation of its rich history: how the natural landform was enhanced by tree planting to create a “designed landscape” that attracted prominent artists, poets and writers, and played a vital role in the story of New Lanark.

We have distributed thousands of leaflets and discussed these ideas with visitors at our stall. I have given presentations to community groups. The recent guided tour organised with the Lanark Archaeological Society was a great success. A donation from the Lanark Civic Trust will help to fund another information leaflet.

The landscape setting of New Lanark and the Falls of Clyde holds the key to the future security of the World Heritage Site. The realisation of the unique combination of historical, wildlife and geological interest would attract more visitors.

Unlike quarrying, ‘geotourism’ would bring sustainable benefits to the local economy – not profits for a Mexican multinational.

These ideas could be turned into reality through the Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership but first the quarry threat must be defeated.

Even if it is, as public and expert opinion suggests that it should, we will need vision, leadership and tenacity to succeed.

But if defeatism had prevailed 40 years ago, New Lanark would have been bulldozed and it would not be a World Heritage Site today. – Yours, etc.

PROF MARK STEPHENS, (Pictured here)

Chair, Save Our Landscapes

Mid Lodge,

Bonnington,

Lanark.

Military money

Dear Ed, – Margaret Thatcher has died and a family has lost its mother. We should respect this and let her be buried quietly as would any other family.

How can it be that what amounted to a state funeral was paid for by the state when some tax payers are having trouble paying for the funeral of their loved ones at a lot less than the £8-£10 million that was quoted?

The Queen attended the funeral; the only other Prime Minister’s funeral the Queen attended was Churchill’s – where is the comparison?

“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” This quote could well describe the career of Margaret Thatcher.

In the press David Mundell MP linked Mrs Thatcher with Ronald Reagan as principal architects of a wave of freedom that swept the iron curtain aside.

I would link that pair as the architects of a doctrine that idolised the financial markets to the detriment of all else and the consequences on both countries has left the West weaker.

We have all experienced the bitter fruit of the seeds Margaret Thatcher sowed from a failed monetary system planted in the composted remains of manufacturing industry and fertilized by greed. So pernicious is Margaret Thatcher’s doctrine that some politicians continue to drink from her chalice.

Let us not forget that Margaret Thatcher was an employee of the taxpayer, paid handsomely for her work with free accommodation and I am sure a pension that was so large it would be eye-watering to the majority. The job she did for the taxpayer gave her such influential perks that it is said she lived in the London Ritz free of charge.

Margaret Thatcher instigated the sale of National assets including council housing that belonged to the nation, not to the government to sell on ideological grounds, manufacturing in the UK was dismantled; the list is long.

Would it not have been better for the £8 or £10 million to be spent on the military to buy the lads and lassies the equipment they need to minimise their risk to life and limb? Surely Margaret Thatcher would agree that would be enough of a military honour. – Yours etc.,#

JIM FERGUSON,

Braxfield Road,

Lanark.

Service not bad

Dear Ed, – I was interested to read in the Gazette (‘Bus users set to get fare hearing’) that Stagecoach West Scotland managing director, Edward Hodgson, told the Gazette that the company had no intention of applying the five per cent fare increase to the 100 series route anyway.

This is contrary to the notice that was displayed throughout March in buses on this route.

That being said, I have used the 100 service to travel to and/or from Edinburgh at least twice a week for a good few years now and I have found the Stagecoach service to be no more nor less reliable than the old MacEwan service.

And in other respects, I would say that the Stagecoach service is actually an improvement.

The vehicles are more comfortable, large enough to carry the volume of passengers at peak times without any having to stand, more roadworthy and without the drivers having to ‘hammer on’ to keep to unrealistic schedules, I feel much safer.

It is a pity that a comparatively small, local operator has lost the route to a muckle international company like the Stagecoach Group – and under circumstances which remain unclear.

But it IS a better service, from the passenger point of view and is still cheaper and more convenient than travelling to Edinburgh by car. – Yours etc.,

ANDREW McCALLUM,

Boghall Park,

Biggar.

Power’s abroad

Dear Ed – Re the Power Popular letter in your letter to the Ed in the April 16 issue of the Gazette: I think Mr Jim Ferguson’s article against fossil fuels and in defence of renewables makes the statement “why should we give our money to multinationals based abroad?”

I suggest to him that he should look at the companies supplying renewable energy and he will see that 80 per cent of them are, in fact, “companies based abroad” and manufacturing the turbines abroad. – Yours etc.,

D LAMB,

Wilton Road, Carluke.