Letters to the Editor

Lord of the rings

I refer to the recent exchanges about Provost Adam Montgomery’s offer to display Olympic rings at Hillend.

There is some merit in the idea certainly, and I am fairly relaxed about it, although it would be important to know if any of the cost of installing the symbol would be borne by council tax payers in Midlothian.

Of much greater importance to the people of Midlothian is the degeneration of our town centres.

This has to do with the closure of shops and businesses, and the general run-down appearance of our town centres, including the poor state of the pavements and roads.

In Penicuik, the major clothing shop M & Co is about to close down and the Shuffles shoe shop has recently closed.

These closures add to the many empty premises that are left to decay. We cannot blame the problem solely on the supermarkets. Shops that offer things that the supermarkets can’t, do survive.

But few would risk starting up in Penicuik given its current state. My wife and I live in the Provost’s own ward that includes Penicuik town centre, and I would like to hear what his ideas are on making his own town a more attractive place to visit. And I don’t mean just giving verbal support to the few volunteer groups that are trying to improve matters.

This has something to do with maintenance and creating the proper environment. It might not be so headline grabbing as erecting vote-catching signs but this is a much more pressing matter for our community. Perhaps the public would be wise to question prospective council candidates for May’s elections on this very subject before casting their vote.

David Henderson

Cairnbank Gardens, Penicuik

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