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Readers’ letters: The council refusing to fund new Dons stadium, Nicola Sturgeon and rise in state pension

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Sir, – I cannot believe we are here again.

The plans for Aberdeen Football Club’s new stadium are again under threat from a council who are failing to see the benefits that having a facility in the heart of the city centre would bring.

I believe the plan for Aberdeen Football Club’s new stadium at the beach is absolutely the right decision for both the club and the city.

The area is so full of potential and to have a brand new stadium offering year-round facilities and leisure will only add to what could be a vibrant hub.

The club is at the heart of the city and means so much to so many.

Having the stadium in a central position – not too far from the existing ground – will allow so many supporters to enjoy this facility and spend money in local bars and shops, supporting struggling businesses and boosting the local economy.

A community stadium as part of and a catalyst for the beach regeneration will deliver so much more for the city and its citizens and, because of this, I don’t see why public money should not be invested in delivering such a significant economic boost for the city.

It would also send a positive message out with Aberdeen that we are a city still in business.

We need to get this done and bring some much-needed income to the city.

Carole Innes. Carnie Avenue, Westhill.

Westminster mismanagement

Sir, – MJ Salter’s comments (Letters, November 12) pointed out a lot of the benefits the people of Scotland have received from the Scottish Government.

What he didn’t say was Nicola Sturgeon told the prime minister at their meeting Scotland will have our referendum come what may, she will see her manifesto pledge honoured.

To say she needs to cut our cloth to the fraction of our tax take granted by Westminster is to believe we are too poor to manage our own tax take when every Westminster government in our lifetime has knowingly diverted tens of billions of Scottish revenues.

We wouldn’t need Barnett Consequentials if Scotland was independent. But if Rishi Sunak doesn’t give English nurses a pay rise there will be no consequentials coming to Scotland.

The mess we are in is totally down to years of Westminster mismanagement. We need to manage our own affairs.

I’m sure this will happen once Nicola Sturgeon’s pledge is honoured.

Herbert Petrie. Parkhill, Dyce.

Pensioners are no better off

Sir, – The people born during and just after the Second World War are now pensioners – the people who helped build back this country – and the chancellor has given them a 10.1% rise on their state pensions.

This rise will not even touch the sides with food prices going up, energy up and council tax due to rise and pensioners with a private pension paying more tax will mean the 10.1% will be swallowed up and more.

So we are no better off than we are now.

Don McKay. Provost Hogg Court, Torry.

Tories hand us bill for their mess

Sir, – So, after making us a world laughing stock, causing the pound to devalue by 20%, getting the country’s credit rating cut three times and aiding price rises by their ill-thought-out Brexit, the Tories are now presenting us with the bill for very much their incompetence.

Add to that, the party for low taxes and law and order has given us the highest taxes in 40 years and, in England, caused a crime wave by slashing police numbers.

There must be a better way. Thank heavens we’re in Scotland.

Ron Campbell. Richmond Walk, Aberdeen.

Scots language? Ah’m scunnert

Sir, – During a Holyrood debate on the Gaelic and Scots languages this week, the SNP’s Emma Harper stuttered a scripted contribution in “Scots”, including the bewildering sentence: “The Scots leid is a michtie important pairt o Scotland’s cultural heirship, kythin in sang, poems and leeterature, and in ilkaday yaise in wir communities forby.” Which turned the farcical into the unintelligible.

A verbal mangling that would have made the Grittest Hoots album of ’Allo ’Allo’s Constable Crabtree. Not one single participant in the debate highlighted her inability to actually speak the language she was touting.

I, nor anyone I know, has ever heard a normal Scot talk like this.

Surely in these days of inclusion and desire for more immigration and social mobility, this weird, middle-class amalgam of regional accents and dialects puts barriers in front of them.

As Goad is ma wutniss ah’m fair scunnert!

Allan Sutherland. Willow Row, Stonehaven.

Road closed for too many hours

Sir, – Your October 15 Highland edition reported a recent accident in which a pedestrian was struck by a car in Inverness.

This occurred just after 5pm less than half a mile from both Raigmore Hospital and the Highland police HQ.

The unfortunate pensioner casualty was taken to Raigmore with his condition described as serious but stable.

The very busy road was then closed for around seven hours.

Why? The severe lack of police resources is well known but I wonder how many officers were occupied in this very lengthy disruption.

Old Perth Road is the main route to, among numerous other destinations, the Highlands’ main hospital so this closure must have seriously hindered not only ambulances and staff coming on duty, but hospital visitors.

Of course, such accidents must be properly investigated but seven hours – of which the last six and half would have been in the dark – seems frankly bizarre.

Other than burnishing the ego of some power-crazed officer, what was achieved in seven hours that could not have been achieved in, say, two?

John Mackenzie. Conon Bridge, Dingwall.

No money for NHS but cash wasted

Sir, – Humza Yousaf claims he has no funds to enable him to pay increases for NHS staff. Instead of trotting out the usual mantra of blaming Westminster, he could perhaps reflect on how much money has been wasted in Holyrood.

The list of monies poured down the proverbial drain is lengthy, but recent examples include the setting up of “embassies” in Europe and the first minister’s photo opportunity trip to Egypt for COP27.

Those sums have gone but there is still time to reallocate £20 million from arranging a pointless and divisive referendum if he wishes to put it to a better use.

David Burnside. Albert Terrace, Aberdeen.

SNP’s top two with one voice

Sir, – In the absence of First Minister Sturgeon at FMQs on Thursday November 10, Deputy First Minister John Swinney stood in and answered questions put to him by Conservative leader Douglas Ross and others.

It was almost predictable as to how the proceedings would go, and one was certainly not disappointed.

John Swinney reported that of all the four countries making up the United Kingdom, NHS Scotland had performed best by offering the best new pay deal to its members.

What Swinney was apparently trying to highlight in a veiled way, the current performance of the NHS in Scotland was reasonable when compared to the other UK countries. Nothing could be further from the truth, as NHS Scotland’s overall performances could best be described as critical, or even the best of a bad bunch.

The previous week, Nicola Sturgeon had given an identical answer when challenged about NHS Scotland’s failings.

This looks like a response well rehearsed for such a question.

Where both SNP ministers differed, however, was where Sturgeon repeatedly referred to the Tory leader as “Douglas Ross”, John Swinney referred to him as “Mr Ross”, the latter being slightly more acceptable and said less venomously.

I suspect Sturgeon will be back in the line of fire for the next FMQs, and should this be the case, if beforehand I knew the questions to be asked, I could almost forecast the answers myself, such is the boring and repetitive nature of today’s FMQs from the two main parties in Holyrood.


Seven-up for hoity-toity

Sir, – Does Aberdeenshire need another seven new deputy lieutenants? (EE, 27/10, p26).

This will take the total number of deputies to 21. There will be no shortage of ‘high falutin’ folk to entertain the landed gentry and royals!

Looking at the list of seven, I could not find any ‘Joe Bloggs’ from normal walks of life. It looks like a job for the boys and girls hoity-toity club.

Lord Lieutenant Alexander Philip Manson said, “they span all walks of community…”, no they don’t, sir!

T Shirron.