Readers share their thoughts on a series of questions. Tell us what you think.
Bridge is now 40 years old
The 40th anniversary of the opening of the Kessock Bridge brought back memories for many.
“My partner Theo Ratcliffe was one of the first people to cross the bridge before he was born on August 3, 1982 as he was traveling by ambulance to his mother, Annie Ratcliffe, to give birth to him. This was before the official opening of the bridge. Louise Willingale, Cromarty
Disagreement over funds
A windfall of green energy has caused difficulty for the community Stratherrick and Foyers as disagreement has arisen over what to do with benefit funds stemming from wind and hydroelectric developments in the region.
“The old bridge is not a road but has a history, fix it to use as a footpath. The land in question should be left as it is, let nature take its course. We and many other locals would really like to be able to launch our boat and store it on site, when will this project be complete? Old dilapidated buildings are an eyesore, please use the money to spruce up the area!!!!” – Elsbeth, Whitebridge
Tackling short-term rentals
Urgent action is needed to address the growing number of short term property rentals in the Highlandsaccording to MSP Emma Roddick.
“Stopping second homes and houses bought for short-term rentals (vacation chalets for you and me) is a path fraught with uncertainty. What is needed is a comprehensive social housing program. Building good quality housing for rent will solve this problem fairly quickly and control who lives there. – Andrew Mackintosh
Tax cuts are not the solution
Like WWI, a global conflict pushes prices up and the best that can be said is that at least we’re not facing 25% inflation like we did in that war, so that during World War II, inflation reached a “paltry” 17 percent.
For those in favor of tax cuts, recent history indicates that this could be the worst thing to do.
Just look at Anthony Barber, Chancellor of Edward Heath, who faced the same specter of stagflation as we do today.
High inflation was failing to spur economic growth, and Barber launched an economic policy not unlike the one we see being debated by Conservative leadership candidates today.
Aiming for 10% economic growth over two years, in a so-called “race for growth”, Barber cut income taxes, revised other levies and liberalized the banking system.
Government borrowing exploded, then the bubble burst as the value of the pound fell and inflation soared, before the Yom Kippur War triggered the 1973 oil crisis and soaring oil prices.
While in other countries inflation fell, in the UK it reached World War I levels, accompanied by two recessions.
Before the next Prime Minister seeks to loosen the purse strings, the tales of Tory chancellors’ pasts should serve as a clear wake-up call.
Stricter laws for electric scooters
Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps is proposing a new dangerous bicycle death law.
This is welcome but needs to add e-scooters as sadly e-scooters will soon be legal on UK roads.
Cyclists and e-scooter riders must have ID, Hi-Vis jacket, helmet and insurance and, dare I say it, pay to use the roads.
Right now they can injure pedestrians, but walk away and there is very little chance that the police will stop them.
Fleeing the scene of an accident should carry the threat of a prison sentence.
The offense of riding on the roadway requires significant financial penalties imposed to deter reckless cyclists.
This will force the police to apprehend cyclists and e-scooter riders, which they currently seem reluctant to do.
Body image help for kids
For many children and young people, body image is a big concern.
Going through physical body changes and developments is hard enough, but with outside influences such as social media, young people can feel even more pressure to look a certain way to fit in.
Every summer we are faced with advertisements asking if we are “beach body ready”.
At Childline, we have seen how these advertisements, messages and perceptions can affect the way young people see themselves.
Between April 2021 and March 2022, Childline delivered 5,085 counseling sessions on the topic of tackling diet and body image in Scotland and the rest of the UK – a 6% increase from 4,787 in 2019/20.
We believe that one of the reasons children and young people feel depressed about their appearance is the increasing amount of time they spend on social media, especially since the pandemic.
Some young people in Scotland have told Childline trained counselors that they feel unsafe and self-conscious about their weight after seeing images of other people on social media platforms.
At Childline we would like to remind all children that the counselors on the service are there to support them and that they do not have to cope alone.
They can contact our advisers on 0800 1111 or online at www.childline.org.uk, where they can visit the ‘my body’ advice page and also talk to other young people who might be feeling the same via forums moderated discussions.
Head of the Childline team
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