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Your Views: Lidl's plans for new supermarket


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Lidl supermarket has met opposition.
Lidl supermarket has met opposition.

One reader on supermarket giant Lidl's proposals for a new city branch and other views from you this week.

Lidl defends plans for new supermarket

The vitality or viability of Inverness city centre will not be adversely hit by proposals for a new supermarket at Inshes, developers maintain. Lidl wants to develop a food store and up to 38 homes on a greenfield site in Sir Walter Scott Drive. Concerns have been raised by council planning officers who say the development would be against the proposed Inner Moray Firth local development plan.

“I cannot see how it would impact on the city centre as there is nothing much there now anyway worth going in for sadly.” – Jan Duncan, Westhill, Inverness.

Community voice must be heard on the airwaves

I share Nicky Marr’s sadness at the latest reduction in local programming at MFR (Courier, 29/4/22), but don’t necessarily agree that this decision is an inevitable consequence of the increased competition from digital and internet radio stations.

Inverness, unlike Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, has no local commercial competition and you might imagine that MFR’s ability to tailor relevant programming and advertising for listeners in the Highlands could be seen as a unique selling point.

Alas, local content on MFR has been diminishing for a number of years as its owners, the Hamburg-based conglomerate that is Bauer, seeks to simulcast programmes from network hubs in Glasgow and London.

It’s a cost-efficient way to reach the ears of listeners from Land’s End to John O’Groats but as a business strategy it takes little heed of the importance of local radio as a unifying community resource.

True local radio offers airtime to reflect and celebrate local culture including sport and music.

Local stations also offer a nursery slope of training and experience for young people beginning a career in broadcasting.

Recently, after raising my concerns on a social media post, I was contacted directly by Victoria Easton, content director for Bauer Media in Glasgow.

She told me in her text message that MFR’s audience is at a 10-year low.

I couldn’t verify that with the official measurement body Rajar who warn that the methodology for their surveys changed last year and any claim[s of] around five or 10-year trends should be treated with caution.

But if Ms Easton’s assertion is true, one wonders if the cause is the reduction in local content and relevance or a networked music policy that is at odds with local tastes.

Listening to MFR output over the past few weeks, it’s clear that much of Bauer’s revenue stems from Scottish Government or local authority advertising.

Is it too much to ask of our politicians, that they take a keener interest on how that money is spent and consider whether it might be diverted towards supporting community radio stations or, if the regulator Ofcom could be persuaded, an additional new FM licence for a competing commercial radio station here in the Highlands?

Jeff Zycinski

Boswell Park

Inverness

Running to the press was not the answer

Nobody likes a clype or a telltale, or so I had always understood. However the case of Neil Parish who has just resigned as an MP would suggest that at least in politics the position is otherwise.

Given the layout of the chamber, only his Tory colleagues could have known that Mr Parish was watching porn on his phone. Did they raise the issue with him? No, of course not. Did they raise the matter with the Conservative whips’ office? No, instead they saw fit to pass the matter to journalists, not just destroying their colleague’s career, but damaging their own party’s campaign in the local council elections.

Who knows what mitigating factors might have applied in Mr Parish’s case? It is too late now.

Is his crime uniquely serious? Worse than a conviction for a campaign of harassment? Worse than calling out the Prime Minister over the very thing you are even more guilty of than him? Worse than starting a witch hunt for sexists over something that you have said yourself?

Whatever Mr Parish’s faults, I find the idea of being represented by the kind of vipers who have no sense of proportion and shop their colleagues to the press far more concerning.

Otto Inglis

Crossgates

Fife

Safety concerns should see ban on e-scooters

Minister for transport Grant Shapps intends to make e-scooters legal on our roads, saying trials were successful.

Successful? Obviously he did not consult the public or listen to road safety groups.

He ignores that many towns and cities in England stopped the e-scooter trial after numerous injuries and complaints.

He ignores that ambulance call outs in England since January 2020 exceed 840 incidents involving e-scooters. However this could be over 2000 since only a third of ambulance trusts provided data.

He has ignored the 11 deaths and thousands of injuries to pedestrians.

He ignores that the London Fire Brigade has already attended 98 fires caused by the lithium batteries on e-scooters and e-bikes.

London Transport has banned e-scooters from all its transport network. Criminals using e-scooters are running rings around the police.

The e-scooter brigade thinks that pavements and shopping malls are for their exclusive use and the police do nothing.

The Scottish Government should declare that these lethal machines will never be allowed on Scottish roads and pavements. Now that would show independence.

Clark Cross

Springfield Road

Linlithgow


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