MANY thanks to Christopher Bruce and Robert Ingram for responding to my letter on a draft constitution for an independent Scotland (Letters, August 30). I would firstly assure Christopher that I was not suggesting a turning back of the clocks and I agree there were many sharp practices taking place in councils at that time. I disagree that a fair system can be bought – at any price.

Christopher stated that under the changed system in the 1970s, the public weren’t asked, so I tried to find out more of how exactly the public would be consulted in the new scheme of things, because the standing orders of community councils only make it incumbent on those in office to advise their own members of the date, venue and time of the meetings, never mind the agenda. Where’s the public empowerment in that?

In an article in the Sunday Herald at the weekend, I noted that the First Minister, in her Programme for Government this week, will reportedly make a statement this week on major reforms to services, one of which is for “opportunities for our communities”. This resonated with me in considering community council involvement in future governance and, horror of horrors, I discovered on the Scottish Government website that legislation had been passed in the form of the Community Empowerment Act 2015 and the Community Empowerment Action Plan.

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As an example of the kind of over-bureaucracy to which I referred in my previous letter, I found that in one section alone (and there were many), the “Participation Requests Guidance” under consultation at present (had you heard? No, neither had I), contained 46 pages of what can only be described as gobbledegook, some of which was even upside-down! After a double shift on a shop floor, patching wounds in a hospital emergency department or driving a trans-continental lorry to make ends meet, how many of us will say, “The Bake Off’s rubbish without Mary Berry, let’s see how I can contribute to the Participation Requests Guidance” or indeed the Draft Constitution.

That’s how ludicrous it is. Sinecure commissions will no doubt be set up to underpin this legislation, most of which will never be known to Joe Public, let alone be of any benefit to us. So really, my objections are too late, it’s a fait accompli.
Ann Williamson
Address supplied

THROUGH The National, I would urge Kevin Stewart MSP – the Minister for Local Government and Housing – to think again over the Park of Keir development plans for Dunblane and Bridge of Allan (Ministers overrule council to back Murray centre, The National, August 31).

Many Stirling constituents think: great idea, wrong place. Our SNP-led government should not be giving our opposition sticks to beat us with.
Catriona Whitton
Dunblane

NEVER mind the Murrays’ legacy, what is the legacy the Scottish Government wishes for itself? Apparently, it’s development planning by celebrity, first in Aberdeenshire, now in Stirling. Against myriad planning policy objections, this development has been sanctioned without justification. There are many site options in central Scotland where a national centre could be built. This decision by ministers is simply embarrassing.
Roddie Macpherson
Avoch

THERE would be no more building in Scotland if it was up to some people. Why should our up-and-coming tennis players have to go abroad to train when we could have a first-class facility here?
Kareen Rennie
via thenational.scot

THE TV listings for programmes being broadcast by the BBC yesterday did not contain a single programme with either “Britain” or “British” in the title. I was shocked, and briefly concerned that standards were slipping at our “national state broadcaster”.

However, normal service is resumed today, with every day this week featuring a least one programme named as “British” this, that or the other. It’s a sign of just how desperate and pitiful the Unionist arguments really are in the face of a Scottish independence movement that refuses to go away.
David Patrick
Address supplied