WE represent many house and flat dwellers living at Ayr seafront and its environs. We were extremely interested in your recent article headed "Airbnb wants crackdown plans to be suitable for all of Scotland" (The Herald, October 15).

Effectively the article was putting forward the case for "lighter touch" regulation of Airbnb-type short-term lets across Scotland, implying that they were more of an Edinburgh problem than a Scotland-wide one.

The Scottish Association of Self Caterers (ASSC) chief executive, Fiona Campbell, is quoted as saying: “Our members are rightly concerned by the potential impact of this ill-timed and ham-fisted licensing scheme.”

Can we advise Ms Campbell, Airbnb and the industry in general, that there are many residents in South Ayrshire, and we would guess elsewhere in Scotland, who cannot wait for this licensing and control area scheme to be implemented?

Permanent residents, particularly those living in flats sharing an outside entrance, stairwell and lift, have seen their quality of life, and that of their families, suffer as these unregulated and unsupervised businesses proliferate and visitors arrive from across the UK and abroad.

While some are administered efficiently, others continue to operate in clear contravention of title deeds, without proper insurance or mortgage clearance, and with little regard for basic fire safety and security precautions.

Unfortunately, the ongoing Covid emergency has shown just how irresponsible some owners and hosts can be in putting profit before people and there is evidence of Government advice to protect the health of permanent residents and visitors being routinely flouted.

As always a balance must be found, and the Scottish Government regulations to ensure all lets are properly established and operated are an excellent starting point. We can only hope that the letting industry’s pleas for a "lighter touch” do not result in local authorities failing in their duty to ensure early and effective implementation of the regulations, reinforced by robust ongoing monitoring and enforcement.

Iain A J McKie, Fort Residents Association, Ayr.


JOHN Edmondson (Letters, October 19) understates the problems associated with wind turbines. They are just foreign cash machines, sucking in subsidies and constraint payments and spitting out expensive part-time electricity, while ruining the landscape and the health of those who live near them.

But the real problem with wind as an energy source lies ahead, as the Government continues to reduce fossil and nuclear generation in favour of wind.

When the windmills reach the end of their working lives they will have to be replaced, but the foreign companies who built and installed them will be long gone with the money, and we will then have an energy problem consisting of inadequate fossil and nuclear, plus the mammoth cost of replacing the windmills. There will be power cuts, and smart meters will be used to ration what meagre electricity is left.

Malcolm Parkin, Kinross.


WHEN I saw the problems the UK Government' s Track and Trace system was having with Excel spreadsheets – blamed for 16,000 missing Covid cases – I was so pleased I had paid the extra £10 for an updated version of Excel when I splashed out £1,500 on a new laptop. I monitor info for my daughter's sales and the other day added a few columns to the spreadsheet. It came back and told me I had gone over the limit and to take out a few columns.

If I'd had the older version I could have had the same problems as the Government.

Jim McAdam, Maidens.