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Readers’ letters: St Fittick’s Park, renewable energy and why we shouldn’t ban vaping

St Fittick’s Park in Torry from above.
St Fittick's Park has been called Torry's "last bit of green space". Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson.

Sir, – The future of St Fittick’s Park (P&J September 22) is not one anyone involved in the development should be proud of.

Given the true importance of all green spaces within our urban environments, the idea that permanent loss of this haven will be tolerated should be immediately expunged.

The perpetrators of this act of insanity are guilty of the most gruesome forms of green-rinsing and green-washing for the most gullible audience. Claims about little visual impact do not bear any serious intellectual scrutiny at all when they include notions about not seeing it from the newly opened Dolphin Centre, suggesting in the most atypical and ludicrous manner that people visiting it and the Torry Battery wouldn’t be looking all around them.

The claims made in all other attributable aspects of the proposal are as mindless and deficient in their reasoning as I’d expect from Aberdeen’s most notorious garden and culture killer and his vapid, vacant, vainglorious cronies. Not least as the plot holes are numerous and all too reminiscent of his dim-witted decking over of a much more central and equally much-loved public park. As long as there are 100 people left alive to defend St Fittick’s Park it will be defended.

Ian Beattie. Baker Street, Aberdeen.

Who really runs our local council?

Sir, – Councillors of Aberdeenshire Council meet to discuss council business. These meetings can currently can only be viewed online by the public.

On occasions, there are matters which council officials deem to be of a sensitive nature or financially advantageous to some if these matters are discussed in the public domain.

They are therefore classed as “exempt” items, where both media journalists and the public are excluded and the matters are heard in private behind closed doors.

Recently there was an “exempt” item about the yet-to-be-built Chapelton Primary School.

This was an opportunity for our councillors to challenge this secrecy and request the item be presented and discussed in public.

We have already had pupils who live in Chapelton and are bussed to Newtonhill Primary School. They were told the buses would be stopped but, after an uproar, the transport has been re-instated until next year when it will be reviewed.

This “exempt” item may well have been a bad news story being withheld from teachers, pupils, parents and the public alike.

Councillors are elected by the public to serve the public and should be transparent in their business when it potentially affects many. Let’s see who actually runs the council.

Colin Pike. Burnside Farm, Maryculter.

Sign Stromeferry bypass petition

Sir, – There has been a history of rock falls at the Stromeferry bypass since the road was opened. They continue to occur, posing a risk to the road and its users.

The existing road is the route taken daily by school buses and there have been many days of education lost due to closures.

The only way to resolve this problem is with serious money, that the Highland Council does not have.

Please sign the online petition (PE1974 on the Scottish Government website) calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to adopt the A890 as a trunk road, and to resolve the safety problems associated with the Stromeferry bypass.

Derek Noble. Old Schoolhouse, Kyle.

Renewables issue needs attention

Sir, – I noted with alarm and interest the content of Mr George Herraghty, Lhanbryde’s letter (P&J September 27) called “Renewables are devouring planet”.

While I am in no way an expert in the subject of renewables, I am however someone who recognises that change is required in energy provision and use.

I also think that validated facts, good and bad, about renewables should be transparent for all to see so that the correct decisions can be made.

If what Mr Herraghty says is correct then we are all being conned by those with vested interests.

Can I challenge any expert in the field, and there are plenty around by all accounts, to either confirm or deny what Mr Herraghty asserts with validated, referenced content.

For those who have not read Mr Herraghty’s letter I would advise them to do so.

I look forward to continued discussion on this topic which impacts and applies to us all.

Don Carney. Meadowlands Place, Westhill.

‘Green’ turbines end up in landfill

Sir, – George Herraghty’s excellent letter “Renewables are devouring planet” (P&J September 27) should be made compulsory reading for politicians, the green luvvies and the eco-demonstrators.

If I may add to his revealing list of problems, there is the question of environmental damage from the concrete bases and from the blades which are made from fibreglass-reinforced polyester or epoxy and end up in landfill, where they can leach toxic chemicals into the ground and water table.

Schoolchildren are being misled by the Fridays for Future Movement to play truant and demand climate action.

They too should be given a lesson covering the contents of George Herraghty’s letter and that renewables still require fossil fuel back-ups or the lights would go out and their cosy homes would go cold and there would be no TV and hot chocolate.

Over the past year fossil fuels provided 44.6 per cent of the UK’s electricity, renewables a pitiful 28.6 per cent.

Clark Cross. Springfield Road, Linlithgow.

Never let our music die

Sir, – In reply to Allan Davidson’s excellent piece, “A lot of hot air over the Queen’s bagpipes”, I would like to add to that by telling of my own past experience in that field, having played in three pipe bands during my lifetime, albeit as a drummer not a piper.

In my youth, in the late 1950s and early 60s, I was a member of the ATC cadet band in Ballater and played on a number of occasions for members of the royal family at Balmoral, for the Queen Mother at Birkhall and also during various parades.

In the early 90s, I was asked to help get the newly formed Ballater and District pipe band up and running.

One of our first major engagements was to play for the now ageing Queen Mother at Birkhall.

After our performance we were invited in to Birkhall for a dram, the younger members having something more appropriate. My one abiding memory, however, is of Her Majesty – who was not in the best of health by that time, with a heavily bandaged leg and relying on her walking stick – coming round to talk to each of us individually.

After thanking us for our performance, I can still hear her departing words of “never let our music die” to this day – a sentiment which I’m sure our newly passed Queen Elizabeth II would heartily endorse.

Alan Davidson. Woodside Crescent, Torphins.

Drive changes a waste of cash

Sir, – Why are the council even considering changing the roundabouts on Anderson Drive for traffic lights? How many of us remember the gridlock chaos when they put traffic lights at the Haudagain years ago?

With the bypass now up and running there is not the same amount of traffic on the Drive – sounds like a lot of expense and yet again traffic chaos for no gain.

As for reducing the speed limit, you can’t keep racers at 40, never mind 30!

Cycle lanes? – Does anyone remember the last time they saw a cyclist on Anderson Drive?

Between the gradient and Aberdeen weather, not enough people would use it to justify the cost.

And lastly, I believe that only three buses actually use the road.

I have been told that they only use the lower part of the Drive and as they head off along Great Northern Road they can use the new slip road at Manor Drive.

We have more pressing projects to use our restricted finances on.


Wrong to ban vaping

Sir, – It’s really beginning to annoy me now – Martina Chukwuma-Ezike wants vaping banned from some public places, especially in parts of the city.

Vapes are to try to help people stop smoking, which was a bigger public health issue stated in a medical journal at one point.

Yes, anyone with a medical problem may be affected by clouds of vape, but a bit like Covid then, keep your distance if possible.

Emissions from cars, buses etc are as bad for your health yet they go on all the time.

Smokers – vapes or not – you can’t just demand they stop.

I don’t use charity shops but I don’t ask to close them.

Joseph Durno, Cummings Park Circle, Aberdeen.