Letters to the editor

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From our postbag of August 22, 2012

Green houses​

Sir, – It’s hugely concerning to read reports that only 0.04 per cent of Scottish households have made use of the Scottish Government’s green homes initiative. With the Green Deal due to come into force in early October, it doesn’t bode well for potential take-up of that scheme.

It’s particularly frustrating at a time when the construction sector is desperate for new work to maintain employment and apprentice numbers.

Sadly, the incentives offered by the green homes initiative appear insufficient to entice the vast majority of homeowners to take advantage. Cutting VAT on home repairs and improvements to five per cent would save consumers a further £15 on every £100 they spend on energy efficiency measures, for example.

Ultimately, with building use responsible for 40 per cent of all carbon emissions, we need to get serious about greening our built environment. Ministers should introduce a comprehensive retrofit programme to bring all buildings up to the modern standards needed to meet environmental targets while supporting jobs and skills in the building industry. – Yours etc.,

MICHAEL LEVACK

Chief Executive

Scottish Building Federation

Crichton House

4 Crichton’s Close

Holyrood

Edinburgh EH8 8DT

Poverty cycle

​Sir, – World Vision, a charity I support, recently launched a report stating that millions of people in West Africa now living through a permanent food crisis, putting a generation of children at risk of death and disability from malnutrition.

Drought and hunger can be slow, silent destroyers of childhoods and trap communities in a seemingly everlasting hunger cycle. But it is clear there are no quick fixes.

The money raised in World Vision’s West Africa appeal will help families today, tomorrow and the day after. I encourage everyone to support their work, find out more and get involved in an attempt to break this deadly hunger cycle. Doing this before August 31 will also mean every pound donated will be matched by the UK government, making every gift go twice as far. – Yours etc.,

Mrs LIZ MACKENZIE

5 Durham Wynd

Lower Largo

KY86DL

Call a truce

​Sir, – Maybe it’s just my age, but I’m being worn down by the continuing war of words being conducted through the columns of your newspaper by councillors Tom Johnston, (SNP), and Alan O’Brien (CICA).

The commitment they show to their constituents, and the attention to detail in outlining their respective arguments is admirable, and I’m sure each is convinced that they are in the right, but it’s the sheer volume of information, no doubt important, that’s beginning to overwhelm me.

I would rather they directed their undoubted abilities, and energy, on combating the lack of attention paid to the Cumbernauld/Kilsyth areas by the Labour dominated North Lanarkshire Council (NLC).

Since the electorate have seen fit, once again, to return this group to power, it’s going to take the combined efforts of all the opposing political parties to make sure we are not ignored in our needs, as has happened too often in the past. – Yours etc.,

ALEX BEVERIDGE,

Carbrain,

Cumbernauld.