I write to support your article on the new licensing tax in Glasgow ("Warning new law puts city art scene in danger", The Herald, February 11).

I am friendly with a second year Glasgow School of Art student of Chinese parents but British nationality, who with some other like-minded students has for two years been running a small non-profit making art gallery in the ground floor of a West Graham Street tenement.

This gallery was created by Glasgow art students for the exhibition of their work, and money from sales of their work go wholly to the artists, not to the gallery, which is run without help from official sources. Several artists at the start of their professional careers have exhibited there.

This novelty of a licence fee will likely cost the gallery over £600, thus snuffing it out. It will make starting other small galleries impossible. Glasgow City Council suggests the licence cost may be reduced for galleries that get a lawyer to speak for them. What lawyer will do so without a hefty fee?

The council says it must impose this licence because the Scottish Government says so. The Government says the matter is at the local councils' discretion. I suggest this novel licence should cost nothing or very little. I hope all councillors keen to promote art in Scotland, Labour or SNP, will call a halt to this tax.

Alasdair Gray,

2 Marchmont Terrace, Glasgow.

In recent years one of the city's great success stories has been its transformation into a hub for the visual arts, as The Herald regularly chronicles. Artworks are perhaps now the city's greatest (inanimate) resource and of worldwide renown. Supporting, enhancing and capitalising on our cultural tourism industry is surely a priority.

The queues that formed to view the annual exhibition by the Royal Glasgow Institute (still going strong at 150) in its earlier years at the McLellan Galleries, were emulated at Kelvingrove more recently for The Glasgow Boys. The appetite for engagement with our arts heritage is complemented by the flourishing of contemporary galleries, the development of arts quarters and more guerilla-style, impromptu activity in the field.

Clarity is urgently required from our city fathers on their response to the impending changes to the licensing law to ensure that we Let Creativity Flourish.

Karin Currie,

President-elect, Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, The RGI Kelly Gallery, 118 Douglas Street, Glasgow.

Recent changes to the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act of 2010 and Glasgow City Council's interpretation of these changes have grave repercussions for the arts and freedom of speech in Glasgow (and perhaps Scotland as a whole if other councils act in a similar manner).

The need to apply for a public entertainment licence for any event, no matter if the event is small or free to enter, is a barrier to free speech and spontaneity. The need to pay from £124 for this licence effectively means that any person or group on reduced circumstances will be denied access to performing in public.

The charge and need for a licence also give rise to the possibility in the future of licences being refused if the council feels threatened by any public meeting or event. What if a political group or party held a public meeting and put on entertainment between speeches? Could the speeches be described as "entertainment"?

These crazy changes to the Act need to be repealed as they will leave Scotland as a cultural desert where only high art can exist. Glasgow City Council needs to desist from the draconian implementation of the changes to the Act and the impossible charging structure.

James A MacKay,

31 Broomhill Drive,